John Tyree is an ordinary guy living an ordinary life, only child of a shy and silent father John doesn't understand.
He rebelled against the calm order of his father's life, unable to understand why the only thing that mattered to him
was coins, and fell in with a bad group of guys with nothing more than drinking and playing pool and working an
endless stream of nowhere jobs. Fed up with his dead end life, John joins the Army and begins to grow up and find
purpose--until Savannah Lynn Curtis enters his life.
Dark-haired, young, vibrant and full of life, Savannah Lynn Curtis is spending a month at the seashore in North
Carolina with her college friends working for Habitat for Humanity. She stuns John at first glance. Her slightly gap-
toothed smile sends him diving over the railing and into the sea to find her quickly sinking purse, while her college
friends stand by and watch. John looks like a surf bum, but his tattoos and manners show Savannah something
different. Her belief in John changes both their lives.
John is home on leave from Germany for two weeks. He spends them getting to know Savannah and falling in love.
He also gets to know and understand his father through Savannah as he slowly comes out of his shell and begins to
dream of a happier future. Their dreams come crashing down on September 11, 2001.
Nicholas Sparks is best known for his simple, straight forward love stories with lots of heart, a strong Christian
theme and very little characterization, set in North Carolina. Dear John is another such story.
"Dear John" is a very quick read that skims the surface of his characters' lives, occasionally moving closer for a few
moments of honest emotion, but never getting too close or too personal. Sparks deals quickly with 9/11, Kosovo
and the Iraq war, focusing always on the love story that is as hazy and creased as an old photo. The characters'
motivations at times are stereotypically prosaic, with an underlying message of sacrifice before love or happiness.
The ending is not a big surprise, although there are moments when Sparks threatens to pull it off. Melodrama wins
out in the end and Sparks does what he does best, touch the reader's emotions.
It is no surprise why Nicholas Sparks stays at the top of the New York Times best sellers list; he writes average
stories for average people that glimmer with a promise of hope. Sparks will never win a Pulitzer Prize, but you can
count on him turning out cookie cutter romances guaranteed to bring tears at the end.
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