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Message in a Bottle Mass Market Paperback – Print, February 1, 1999

3.9 out of 5 stars 1,248 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If you thought The Notebook was a tearjerker, get out the hankies, pull up a chair, and get ready to have your heart monkey-wrenched by Nicholas Sparks's second star-crossed love story, Message in a Bottle. When Theresa Osborne takes a much-needed summer holiday at Cape Cod, she finds a lot more than a break from the hustle and bustle. On an early-morning jog along Cape Cod Bay, she comes across a corked bottle with a scrolled-up message inside that reads, "My Dearest Catherine, I miss you, my darling, as I always do, but today is especially hard because the ocean has been singing to me, and the song is that of our life together..." It bobbles around in the same vein for several more paragraphs and ends with "...am alone on the pier and I do not care what others think as I bow my head and cry and cry and cry. Garret."

Garret may eat quiche, but no bother--before you can say "Look! I found two more letters!" Theresa is hot on his trail and determined to find this mysterious yet sensitive message-in-a-bottle man. She finds him at a sleepy North Carolina port, working on his beloved sailboat, The Happenstance. From there, a romance buds and blossoms into a colorful bouquet of emotional baggage. Theresa has problems with her past--or, more accurately, her past is a problem. She is so scarred from her "I'm a super churchgoing guy now that I've run out on my wife" ex-husband that she hasn't tried to date since her divorce some three or four years before. And who is Catherine? And what's Garret's bag, anyway? When Theresa finds out, she plunges to the depths of her soul and uncorks a whopper of a secret about herself, bringing Garret to terms with who he really is.

Message in a Bottle has the earmarks of sentimental tongue-wagging at its finest and should please romantics and cynics alike--it's sure to bring romantics to their knees, while cynics will be slapping theirs in laughter. --Rebekah Warren --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Avoiding a sophomore slump, Sparks follows The Notebook with another sentimental candidate for the bestseller lists. Boston parenting columnist Theresa Osborne has lost faith in the dream of everlasting love. Three years after divorcing her cheating husband, the single mother is vacationing on Cape Cod when she finds a bottle washed up on the shore. Inside, a message begins: "My Dearest Catherine, I miss you." Subsequent publication of the poignant missive in her column turns up two more letters, found by others, from the same mysterious writer, Garrett Blake. Piqued by his epistolary constancy, Theresa follows the trail to North Carolina, where she discovers that Garrett has been mourning his late wife for three years; writing the sea-borne messages is his only solace. Theresa also finds that Garrett just might be ready to love again... and that she might be the woman for him. There are few surprises here as we watch the couple learn to love in Catherine's slowly waning shadow. By the time they do, Sparks has proved that a man who romantically (and manually) pens missives to his lost lady love in the era of e-mail is a welcome hero in this fin-de-millennium fax-happy world. (Knowing that Kevin Costner has been slated to play Garrett on screen doesn't hurt, either.) Film rights to Warner Bros.; simultaneous Time Warner audio; Literary Guild main selection and Reader's Digest select edition; author tour.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vision (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446606812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446606813
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,248 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Baker VINE VOICE on September 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Message in a Bottle is a unique romantic story and a fine novel. It all starts when Theresa Osborne is vacationing in Cape Code and comes across - you guessed it - a message in a bottle. The message is from a man "Garrett" to his wife about his intensely felt love. Osborne, a middle aged divorcee with little romance in her own life is intrigued enough to start searching out others who may have found similar messages. As she collects them, she herself falls in love with Garrett (although she has yet to admit it to herself) and decides to search for him. She finds him in a small, North Carolina town and the romance emerges. But of course - they are such different people that problems crop up. He is a widower feeling guilty and not over his wife and a small town kind of guy. She's a big city gal with a career. But the relationship develops with ups and downs nonetheless.
Sparks is excellent in fully developing the personalities of his characters and building empathy in the reader. He has done a fine job here. If you didn't like the movie - read the book anyway. It's much better.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Message in a Bottle is one incredible book. The plot of the story is whimsical and will have you dreaming that maybe someday you'll find a love as strong as these two characters in this novel.
Basically this is one sad book, and the people who rate it low, are only doing so because this book doesn't have a cheerful "happily ever after" ending. While I read the book, especially the end, tears slowly streamed down my face as I tried to understand why the story went the way it did. The fact that Garrett was able to love his wife with so much emotion, just shakes you to the core because it comes to the point of obession.
Message in a Bottle is a story about a woman named Theresa Osborne, a newspaper columnist, who finds a bottle washed up shore one day. She proceeds to read the letter inside and there a history of unforgotten love unfolds. Garrett Blake, trying to cope with the lose of his deceased wife, Catherine, writes letters to her and send them out to sea, hoping that one day they'll reach Europe.
As the story progresses, Theresa finds Garrett and they give into the emotions that are growing between them and fall in love with each other. But Garrett isn't ready to let go of his deceased wife yet, so the problem is introduced... read the story and you'll be crying but still happy at the same time.
This book teaches us about the aspect of love and how it's possible to love once more even though you think that you'll never be able to love again. And the fact that love is solid, and so much stronger than simple lust. Recommended.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Message in a Bottle is a remarkable book, and like all Nicholas Sparks books it is a truly touching love story that leaves marks on your soul. This particular story is about a lady in her mid-thirties, named Theresa Osbourne that had recently gone through a divorce, and now single-handedly raised her twelve year old son, Kevin. On one of Theresa's vacations away from her home and job, writing a column in the Boston Times, she goes to a beach and finds a bottle washed up onto the shore. She picks up the bottle and opens it and there is a letter inside that she instinctively reads. The letter was written to a woman named Catherine by a man named Garret, and it is a very moving and romantic letter that amazes Theresa, considering it was written by a man. Taking out the names, she decides to print the letter in her column, hoping it would touch the readers as much as it had touched her. To Theresa's surprise she gets a phone call from someone who had also found a message in a bottle from Garret to Catherine. Theresa, only wondering what a man that writes such romantic and feeling filled letters, uses information in the messages to find him. When she finally finds him, pretending to be interested in the boat he recently remodeled, gets invited to go sailing with him. Not telling Garret about the letters she had found, she continued to spend time with Garret, and the two honestly fell in love with each other. Then Theresa finds out that Catherine is his ex-girlfriend that died when she was hit by a car. Having a long distance relationship, Theresa and Garret run into a lot of problems, but with true love like theirs, they are determined to work things out.

Nicolas Sparks has once again written a novel that will grasp the attention of people all over who like a good love story. I recommend this book for everyone that enjoys romance novels.
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By A Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I know this is an online book review but I thought maybe those of you who read the book might like to hear an opinion on the movie also. I love a good romance especially when I can share it with my wife, but manipulative "hollywood" trash like this just makes me angry. If you can't move your audience emotionally with good writing (script or novel) without killing off one of the main characters just for the sake of a good "tear-jerking" then you have no business writing period. The movie itself was better than the book but the ending left you thinking "What was the point?" Why would anyone lead it's audience on a journey about the triumph of love and overcoming pain and sorrow of a lost loved one only to kill them in the end? Manipulative and just plain stupid.
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