Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

I cannot believe it has taken me this long to review this book!  I finished it last Friday (my fourth book of 2010) and just couldn't bring myself to review it.  But now I shall review it in my horrible reviewing manner because I'm so afraid of giving anything away.

(Prologue)Dear John by Nicholas Sparks starts out with our main character, John Tyree, wondering what it means to truly love another. 

(Part one) John is home on leave in Wilmington, North Carolina.  His only family is his dad and since he joined the army, he no longer enjoys the company of his so called 'friends'.  He has a very strained relationship with his coin-collector dad because John, frankly, is tired of hearing about the coins.  It seems to be the only thing his dad cares about and the only thing his dad can talk about.  And since John told him he didn't want to talk about coins anymore, they hardly talk at all. 
One day, John is out surfing when he sees two girls and says "Hi".  The blonde doesn't respond, but the brunette (Savannah) does.  When John jumps in the water to save Savannah's purse that was knocked over the edge of a dock by a friend, Savannah feels the need to repay him.  She invites him to the house where she and a lot of other people are staying while building houses over the summer for Habitat for Humanity.  Including her best friend, Tim.  Savannah and John fall in love and before they know it, John has to go back to Germany.
When John has leave the next year, he goes to Savannah's home town and spends time with her while she's at college and then they go visit his dad, who, Savannah has suggested, has Asperger's.  They are still very much in love and when John gets out of the army, he tells her that he'll marry her.
But neither of them saw 9-11 coming and, although John only had a few months of service left--already being to Iraq once, he reinlists, feeling the need to serve his country. 
John has another leave, because his dad is sick.  And, when he actually gets to see Savannah, he knows something's changed.  Something's differnt.

(Part two)
John feels he's truly all alone.  His dad's not doing so well and his friends from the army have all gone home.  Where is he to go?  Sometimes when he talks to Savannah, he feels that something's missing, but other times she's just the same girl she's always been.  His dad has a second heart attack and he goes home to be with him, finding him in worse condition than he ever thought possible.  And even before he got the letter from Savannah, he knew something has changed. Something wasn't not there anymore.

(Part three)
Now, without Savannah, he feels even more alone.  When he has leave, he goes hom to his dad who is even worse.  John ends up having to put him in an assisted living home, which not only breaks his heart, it also breaks his dad's heart.  And that was the last time John ever saw him alive.
Given emergency leave, John goes back home for his dad's funeral.  He's lost and alone.  He goes to a bar in Savannah's home town and sees a jar collecting money for someone who has cancer.  Not looking too closely, he throws in some money.
He asks the bar tender about Savannah and he tells her she hasn't moved--still lives right near her parents.  When he goes to Savannah he realizes that nothing can ever happen for them...

And that's where I'll stop.

(Epilogue) John understands what it means to truly love another.

I rate this book 4/5 stars--it had some slow parts.  Part two is really slow, but then again, Nicholas Sparks said that that section took him the longest to write and it was the hardest to write. 

This novel gave me a better understanding of what my cousin, Jimmy, has gone through in Iraq and why he won't hardly talk about his experiences.

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