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.
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Warner Vision (January 1, 1999)
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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.