Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of Message in A Bottle.
What did you think of the beginning of story? I always love the setting and scenery in a Nicholas Sparks novel. I love all of the descriptions of water, and I love reading about the slower pace of life that many of the characters have.
At the beginning of the story, one of the things that surprised me the most was the fact that Theresa was so comfortable reading all of Garrett's really personal letters. I think I would feel comfortable reading a letter if it was obviously old and antique, but reading one that could belong to a contemporary of mine would be awkward, I think. His letters were so vulnerable--I almost felt uncomfortable reading them in the book! It's just hard because readers know that Garrett didn't intend for anyone else to read them. I was also surprised how quickly everyone decided to publish the letters in the newspaper. It felt like a huge invasion of privacy to me, even though Theresa didn't include names. What would you have done?
It made me laugh when Theresa is trying to track down Garrett and it takes her so long. Deanna actually has to get on the phone and call places to see if she can figure out where Garrett lives. Today, it would take seconds to search for Garrett online. It just reminded me how connected we all are compared to how connected we were even 20 years ago.
Were you surprised that Theresa was able to find more letters pretty easily? I wasn't really surprised that someone called in and had more information about Garrett, but I was a little surprised that someone else had one of his letters. I just didn't realize how prevalent messages in a bottle are, I guess! I was really surprised that one of his letters had been published already. Garrett was a really prolific letter writer--I wonder how many more letters he wrote that no one found. I think if I were to find a message in a bottle, I would be like the caller who said she reads the letter but hasn't shared it with another person. I think, if I found something like that, that I would keep it to myself.
In the end of this section, Theresa decides that she wants to go see Garrett for herself. What do you think she will do when she sees him? What do you think she's hoping to accomplish? Do you think she thinks that she already loves Garrett? Do you think she will tell him about the letters?
Did reading this first section make you want to find a message in a bottle? If you want to read about some real-life messages that were found in bottles, check out this article from Atlas Obscura and this one from the BBC. Check out the video below, too, if you want to see another message in a bottle and hear more about currents and how they could help a bottle travel.
I hope you enjoyed reading this section this week. Make sure to read chapters five through eight for next week. And, feel free to leave comments on our Facebook page to let me know what you thought about the reading!