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3.9 out of 5 stars
Message in a Bottle
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 27, 2001
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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45 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2000
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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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 1999
Not one for romance novels or any of this lovey dovey stuff, reminds me of those Mills and Boons Books :) I rented the video as a change from action/thriller and I have to say I never cried so much in my life! It was a beautiful film and I had to set about looking for the book as I know how Hollywood likes to 'butcher' some well written novels ie Grisham and the book was even better than I expected! Read the novel and you will not be disappointed. Even though are some story discrepancies between the movie and novel. Whilst I knew the ending was coming I still cried. It makes you believe that true love exists and you can love again. The cynical people will believe what they want. But why Mr Sparks did you let hollywood have its wicked ways with your book....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 1999
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2005
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2001
Nicholas Sparks' novel, Message in a Bottle, marks a triumphant accomplishment for romantic fantacism in the present, fast-paced world. Sparks' depiction of real-life romance with a twist of fantasy is wonderfully written through his character's feelings, as well as thoughts. This novel is written in third person omniscient; this allows the reader to feel like the character. The way in which Sparks uses his power of narration to pull the reader into the book, allowing the reader feel how the characters feels is magnificent. The details portrayed by Sparks, in the novel, are meticulously written, allowing a perfect, accurate, painted picture to wallow in the readers mind; thus resulting in a rush for more information. Once you find yourself wanting more details the book will never be put down. One of the most important detailed devices Sparks uses is flashbacks. Garrett, a main character, draws himself as a dream man through his undying, passionate love for his late wife Catherine; which Sparks tells through flashbacks. Garrett is written to be a dynamic character. We fall in love with him in the beginning of the novel because he cannot forget about Catherine. Toward the end Garrett is forced to change in order to keep his new love interest, Theresa, which makes you love him all over again. Moreover, these changes come as a result of a conflict Garrett held within himself. Garrett's profile hits home for many people. The struggle Garrett has to forget his past and look at the future allows many readers to relate to Garrett. The fact that Garrett conquers himself may give people hope to win their own battles. Theresa and Garrett's passionate love affair will have every woman wishing it were she. The good news is this passion does not seem impossible. The realistic writing used by Sparks leads you to believe he could be talking about your neighbor. The two main characters are seemingly not fictional. Theresa is a thirty-something year old woman, divorced, and working with a twelve-year-old son. Garrett is a laid-back widower with a dive shop and a love for sailing. In essence Message in a Bottle is a page turner story with a romance everyone wants and characters we can relate to and care for as if they were our friends due to Sparks' outstanding elements of detail in character profiles, flashbacks, and other literary technique.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2006
While easy enough to read, if the exact same pages were enclosed in a Harlequin Romance cover, I wouldn't know the difference.

I'm extremely surprised this is a "best seller". Maybe I should take up writing because I can't possibly be worse than this.

Ok, it's a good enough story but wow, it's predictible and boring. I read it completely in 2 days, and I'm a reader that savors pages so it takes me a while. I wasn't intrigued, I wasn't on the edge of my seat, and didn't shed a tear.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2007
This was my introduction to Nicholas Sparks as a writer, and a sorry introduction it was. (I haven't purchased another of his books, though I did see the movie of The Notebook, which I thought was a wonderful story and and film.) But it's hard to believe a writer who could produce something as awful as Message in a Bottle, could write beautiful books too.

Message in A Bottle was everything bad -- a stupid, maudlin soap opera with a dumb ending. The characters were cardboard, the drama never got off the ground. The writing was as amateurish as it gets. The dialogue was inane. I thought I was reading the exercise of a first-time writer in junior high school. The only reason this book made it was that the author was already a "New York Times Bestselling Author". Just proves that the world of publishing is completely irrational and unfair.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Being from the same hometown as Sparks, I REALLY wanted to like this book. But, after reading it, I have to say that I cannot believe how many good reviews this book has gotten. Actually, I can't believe that this book got published. It is that bad. The only good thing that I can say about this book is that the concept was good. But, the writing was absolutely horrible. It was very dumbed down, trite and any other adjective you want to use to emphasize how bad the writing is. As a previous reviewer said, "The book is usually better than the movie, but in this case, the opposite is true." My advice -- watch the movie, don't read the book.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2006
When journalist Theresa Osbourne discovers a passionate message in a bottle from a man to his dead wife, she is motivated to track him down. They meet and fall in love. This romance consists of a string of unremarkable incidents related in unimaginitive writing. This is one of the most poorly written books I have ever encountered. Most of Nicholas Sparks's prose is deadly dull, but at times it is quite funny. This novel provided some of the biggest unintended laughs for me since I read Tom Clancy's meditations on male impotence in one of his Jack Ryan books.
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