A tear-jerker written by the romantic author Nicholas Sparks and made into a movie of the same name starring Kevin Costner, A Message in a Bottle is an interesting, if not an exhilarating one. I haven’t seen the movie and am not planning to either. Now don’t get the wrong idea about me not liking the book, which, on the contrary I liked just fine. It’s just that I’d prefer to have my head with the memories of the character like how I read them and not how I “saw” them. More often than not the movie screws it up so badly that the person starts finding the book rather pukey.

Theresa, a 30 something divorced lady is on a small vacation with her 12 year something kid and while she’s walking along the beach she discovers a bottle washed ashore with a note inside. Theresa did what anyone of us might. She opens it and reads the note and begins weeping. The note is actually a letter written by a man called Garret Blake to a woman, his dead wife apparently, called Catherine. Theresa is so touched by the letter that she decides to track this Garret Blake down just out of sheer curiosity. Who could write such letters to a dead person and throw them out to sea? Who could be capable of loving a person to this extent? Theresa has had a recent divorce because her otherwise good husband was caught cheating behind her back. She tracks down Garret and the two of them get closer to each other. It’s not surprising that they find so much solace within each other’s arms. Theresa is stunned to meet a man so loving and so giving. Garret is finally finding peace with himself and learning to love again. He didn’t quite get over Catherine’s death. Garret dreamt of her every night. And when he wasn’t dreaming of her he was writing those letters to her and throwing them into the sea.

Writing those letters were the only way he had been able to vent out his bottled up frustration of not being able to live with the only woman he had loved! Things are going pretty fine between the two of them and everything’s looking up for Garret apart from those panic attacks he gets occasionally. He feels like he’s cheating Catherine by being with another woman. He sees her in Dreams giving him signs which he interprets wrongly and his misgivings increase ten folds. He thinks Catherine is giving him signs that she finds this rather surprising closeness unbearable. Garret thinks that these misgivings are his own personal ghosts and Theresa is not aware of this. But he is wrong. Theresa feels the difference in the way he speaks to her sometimes. She can sense that Garret is forcing himself against his better judgments o be with her and that he hasn’t yet overcome the romance and love he had for Catherine. Theresa decides that she cannot be with a man who is still carrying his “baggage” after so many years. Theresa is not ready to share (this is so insensitive) Garret!!!

All things said and done she decides that she cannot be with a man who loves his wife. It makes no difference whether she’s alive or dead! So Theresa leaves Garret and decides to stay away from him for his own good. She loves him too much but she cannot stand him being still attached to his late wife. I’ll let the readers read the remainder of the story themselves and find out how Theresa leaves him and how Garret finds out that Theresa is The One and gets his divine signs pointing towards Theresa in all her glory. The story written by Nicholas Sparks is a very interesting read. It’s totally romantic and mushy and if you’re a lover of romance then this will whet your appetite! Although I think the book could have done without the graphic sex.

I think all females love a good romantic novel and a few guys too. This one was one of the very few ones that I have read and liked. It is said to be based on Nicholas father!! How we love real life stories. Especially if it is so beautifully written and makes you weep.

Siddiqui F.

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