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Dear Johnby Nicholas Sparks
Synopses & Reviews
When Savannah Lynn Curtis comes into his life, John Tyree knows he is ready to turn over a new leaf. An angry rebel, he had enlisted in the army after high school, not knowing what else to do. Then, during a furlough, he meets the girl of his dreams. Savannah Lynn Curtis is attending college in North Carolina, working for Habitat for Humanity, and totally unprepared for the passionate attraction she feels for John Tyree.
The attraction is mutual and quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah vowing to wait for John while he finishes his tour of duty, and John realizing that he's ready to settle down with the young woman who has captured his heart.
Neither can foresee that 9/11 is about to change the world and will force John to risk every hope and dream that he's ever had.
Like so many proud men and women, John must choose between love and country. And like all those left behind, Savannah must decide to wait or move on. How do we choose wisely? How can we face loss-without giving up on love? Now, when he finally returns to North Carolina, John will discover that loving Savannah will force him to make the hardest decision of his life.
An extraordinary, moving story, Dear John explores the complexities of love — how it survives time and heartbreak, and how it transforms us forever.
"Hot on the heels of True Believer and sequel At First Sight, Sparks returns with the story of ne'er-do-well-turned-army-enlistee John Tyree, 23, and well-to-do University of North Carolina special education major Savannah Lynn Curtis. John, who narrates, has been raised by a socially backward single postal-worker dad obsessed with coin collecting (he has Asperger's syndrome). John bypasses college for the overseas infantry; Savannah spends her college summers volunteering. When they meet, he's on leave, and she's working with Habitat for Humanity (he rescues her sinking purse at the beach). John has a history of one-night stands; Savannah's a virgin. He's an on-and-off drinker; she's a teetotaler. Attraction and values conflict the rest of the summer, but the deal does not close. Savannah longs for John to come home; her friend Tim longs to have a relationship with her. On the brink of John and Savannah's finally getting together, 9/11 happens, and John re-ups. Savannah's letters come less and less frequently, and before you know it, he receives the expected 'Dear John' letter. Sparks's novel brims with longing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"In the days following Sept. 11, 2001, hardly anyone, not even the late night comedians, knew what to say. Now, more than five years later, the roster of books and films addressing 9/11 and its consequences has grown long. There are explorations of religion and foreign policy, memoirs of life on the 21st-century battlefield, depictions of global culture, investigations, predictions and elegies. With... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review) Nicholas Sparks' contribution to the list, 'Dear John,' we see our political climate in yet another light: candlelight, maybe. Or moonlight. Narrator John Tyree is a wayward son of Wilmington, N.C., reformed first by the service (he seems to shed most of his rebelliousness at boot camp) and later by love. John meets Savannah Lynn Curtis while home on leave, in June of 2000. Savannah, a rising senior at UNC, is spending her summer building houses for those without. The couple share two fleeting weeks — including an innocent scene under a half-built roof that's as big-screen-ready as they come — before John must return to his post in Germany. For more than a year, he pines and she endures, counting the days until he will be honorably discharged. Then the Twin Towers fall. Rather than returning to his love, John re-enlists. In January 2003, his unit is sent into Turkey, then transferred to Kuwait. In March, he takes part in the invasion of Iraq. While John's days play out in the desert (when asked about his time there, all he mentions is the sand), Savannah must face her own unlucky destiny. Finally, with the death of John's father, whose somewhat unbelievable tale provides the main subplot of the book, the two are reunited and left to sort things out amid their tears and ours. It isn't hard to picture John Tyree. We can simply imagine his predecessors, men in uniform staring pensively from earlier wartime romances. Apart from the occasional detail — e-mail, cellphone, Outback Steakhouse — 'Dear John' could take place in any modern American era. For Sparks, weighty matters of the day remain set pieces, furniture upon which to hang timeless tales of chaste longing and harsh fate. Only in a novel such as this could we find our political buzzwords — peacekeeping, IEDs, hurricane relief — interspersed with these sentiments: 'And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever.' There's a reason, after all, they call it escapism. Margaux Wexberg Sanchez is a freelance writer in Irvine, Calif." Reviewed by Margaux Wexberg Sanchez, Washington Post Book World (Copyright 2006 Washington Post Book World Service/Washington Post Writers Group)
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"Sparks...whose name is synonymous with romance and bittersweet endings...lives up to his reputation with his latest novel, a tribute to courageous and self-sacrificing soldiers." Booklist
In Sparks novel of duty, longing, and heartbreak, two lives change forever after the tragedy of 9/11. Returning home from war, John must come to grips with the fact that Savannah, now married, is still his true love--and face the hardest decision of his life.
About the Author
Nicholas Sparks lives in North Carolina with his wife and children.
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