This review was posted in fall of '09, but I thought, seeing as it is now a movie, it deserved another posting.
Summary: An angry rebel, John dropped out of school and enlisted in the Army, not knowing what else to do with his life--until he meets the girl of his dreams, Savannah. Their mutual attraction quickly grows into the kind of love that leaves Savannah waiting for John to finish his tour of duty, and John wanting to settle down with the woman who has captured his heart. But 9/11 changes everything. John feels it is his duty to re-enlist. And sadly, the long separation finds Savannah falling in love with someone else. "Dear John," the letter read...and with those two words, a heart was broken and two lives were changed forever. Returning home, 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. (Image and Summary from nicholassparks.com)
My Review: I have heard many different opinions on Nicholas Sparks novels. I have friends who love his stories(not as much as me...), and I have friends who think he is to: sappy, predictable, heartbreaking....take your pick. But as mentioned, I am a big fan.
I read a lot of mysteries. I read some heavy non fiction. Often, I return to my well read copies of Sparks novels. I enjoy the feeling that they give me. It is nice to watch people fall in love. NO ONE CAN DENY THAT.
After joining the service for reasons known only to himself, John has found himself home on leave and falling in love with a beautiful stranger. That is the very essence of this story. After an intense two weeks of vacation, John returns to duty with a picture of Savannah in his pocket. They part knowing that although two weeks is not much, it was enough. They will soon be together and his time in service will be coming to a close. Then, after one year apart, they can begin their life together. Unfortunately, Sept. 11 and its aftermath threatens to tear them apart.
This novel was difficult to read. It did give me the warm fuzzy, but with an undertone of extreme sorrow. Sparks takes on some very serious subjects, and at times I found myself a little weepy, not so much over the characters, but over the impact the World Trade Center had on them. It brings memories to the surface, as it would for anyone.
A great loves story, intertwined with heavy internal conflict, Dear John is a quiet, emotional read. At times you see little bits of reality, that bring the story home.
I recommend almost all of Sparks novels. They always satisfy. You can find out more about the author and his novels at www.nicholaspsparks.com .
My Rating: 4 Stars
Sum it up: Just a good story, with all elements intact.