Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks is a love story filled with anger, confusion, hope, and fear. The book begins when a Boston newspaper columnist and single mother, Theresa Osborne, finds a bottle that has washed up on shore. While looking at it more closely she realizes that there is a letter inside. It opens with, "My Dearest Catherine, I miss you my darling, as I always do, but today is particularly hard because the ocean has been singing to me, the song is that of our life together..." according to the character who signed the letter, Garrett, in Nicholas Sparks' book, Message in a Bottle. She shows her outgoing friend at the newspaper, Deanna, and they decide that a letter this beautiful should be published for everyone to read. Theresa recieves some calls and tips and eventually finds two more letters addressed to Catherine and signed by Garrett. She begins to wonder who these people are and wants to meet Garrett, the author of the letters. Theresa eventually tracks down someone named Garrett who fits the description based on the letters. He owns a scuba shop and is an avid salior, in a small town off the coast of North Carolina. As soon as she spots Garrett there is an instant spark between them. They go on a series of dates and have a whirlwind romance in the five days they spend together before she has to return to Boston. Before Theresa leaves, the couple decides they will try to continue to see each other. A few weeks later Theresa brings her tweleve-year-old son, Kevin, to meet Garrett. A few weeks after Theresa and Kevin leave North Carolina, Garrett comes to visit them and realizes he can't live without Theresa but he is still in love with his dead wife, Catherine. He could never live in a busy, loud town, but he doesn't feel right asking her to leave her job and uproot her son especially if he will always be in love with Catherine. The couple has an arguement about who should move and they end up breaking up. Later Garrett takes his dad's advice and decides he needs to get over Catherine because she would want him to be with someone else he loves. He goes out to sea to send her a final message and he is killed in a storm. Theresa recieves a message in a bottle he sent her before his trip out to sea. In this letter he explains a dream about Catherine in which he tells her how he is in love with Theresa but feels guilty about having to let Catherine go. In the dream Catherine tells Garrett, "Who do you think it was that brought the bottle to her?" (Sparks 362) As Thersa reads the letter she realizes that it was destiny for her and Garrett to be together but now it is too late. Overall the story deals with new love and making choices that could change someone's life forever.
1. Having a long-distance relationship is a problem for Theresa and Garrett as it is for many couples. How do you think couples should resolve the issue? How do you think Theresa and Garrett should have dealt with it?
2. There are a lot of dreams described in this book that lead the characters so realize something important. Have you ever had dreams that seem to mean something important in your own life?
3. At first Garrett doesn't think you can find true love more than once. Do you think this is true? Then he and Theresa are brought together by a message in a bottle. Do you think this is fate or coincidence?