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MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE by Nicholas Sparks

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE

By Nicholas Sparks

Pub Date: April 7th, 1998
ISBN: 0-446-52356-9

Famous from the best-sellerdom of The Notebook (1996), Sparks sails again into the waters of many tears—though this time, thanks to fewness of charms in the writing and diminished reason to suspend disbelief, Kleenex sales are likely to remain stable. Boston Times columnist Theresa Osborne finds a bottle on the Cape Cod beach where she’s vacationing. Inside? Well, a letter from one love-lorn —Garrett— to a sadly missed —Catherine.— Reading it brings the not-long-ago divorced Theresa Osborne to tears, though others may have their own responses (—I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me. . . —). Theresa runs the letter in her Times column (though her beat is really parenting), and, remarkably (—But what did it all mean?—), another Garrett-Catherine letter surfaces, in the possession of a Norfolk, Virginia, reader of the column. Suffice it so say (—I think of you, I dream of you, I conjure you up when I need you most—), especially after a third letter comes to light, Theresa really wants to meet Garrett. So after little detective work she flies to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, visits the docks (—She stepped out of her car, brushed the hair from her face, and started toward the entrance—), boards Garrett’s sailing boat, the Happenstance, and meets the remarkable Garrett himself (—There was something mysterious and different about the way he acted, something masculine—). An evening sail, some more hair-tossing, and a new romance is well underway—though the question remains whether Garrett can free himself from his grief and love for the tragically dead Catherine, his wife of nine years. Telling wouldn—t be fair, though Theresa says at one point: “I love you, too, Garrett. But sometimes love isn—t enough.” Prizes: Worst writing: Garrett’s letters. Best scene: storm at sea. Most unbelievable scene: same storm at sea. Worst example of. . . . But enough already. (First printing of 750,000; film rights to Warner Bros.)