Welcome to the final discussion of Message in A Bottle.
Were you emotionally prepared for the ending of the book? I wasn't. I understand that Nicholas Sparks likes to write bittersweet stories, but this was almost too much!
When the section starts, everything seems to be going right for them. They spend time together, Garrett meets Kevin, Garrett and Theresa express their love to each other. Garrett even says he wants to marry her. But, he wants her to move to him, and he wants her to give up her life and job in Boston.
Then, Garrett finds out about the letters. I think he reacted in an appropriate way. He was justified in thinking that those letters would not be published in a newspaper for the world to see. I felt, throughout the book, that Garrett got unfair treatment from everyone in his life. His dad criticizes the way Garrett reacts to the news of the letters, and he questions, several times, whether or not Garrett was really over Catherine. I feel like Garrett was surprisingly open to love throughout the book, and I didn't think it was inappropriate that he still thought about Catherine. And, I didn't think it was inappropriate for Garrett to feel like Theresa betrayed him and built their whole relationship on a lie. What did you think? Did you feel like Garrett had an understandable reaction to Theresa's actions?
I totally understood why the pair had to break up. Neither one was in a place where they were willing to leave their houses or jobs and start somewhere new. I questioned from the beginning whether or not they would be able to stay together for the long haul. If you'd like to see how their breakup scene played out on the big screen, check out the movie clip below.
How did you feel when Theresa got the fateful call from Jeb telling her that there had been an accident? I was disappointed, obviously, with Sparks's choice for Garrett's character, but I was most disappointed that they were unable to have any sort of closure with each other. I believed that their relationship should have ended, but I wished they could have had one more conversation with each other to tie up loose ends. How did you feel? What did you think about the way that Garrett died? I felt his death went back to the unfair treatment he received by everyone throughout the book. He was so desperate to move on and show everyone that he had moved on, that he was willing to go out to sea when there was a possibility for a storm.
How surprised were you when Theresa received the last letter from Garrett? I guess the letter provided some closure, but I think it made things harder. Instead of trusting that she had made the right decision ending their relationship, Theresa now had to deal with the thought that Garrett was going to make nice and come back to her. Now, Theresa has to deal with the pain of losing someone she loved so much. Maybe now, after feeling those feelings, she would have been more patient with Garrett when he was struggling with his feelings for Catherine.
How would you have changed the book? What do you wish would have been different about the story?
When I was researching this book, I searched Sparks's website and discovered that he tells the inspiration behind each of his books. Apparently, for this book, he was inspired by his father's love stories. You can check out more about the inspiration for the story here.
If you enjoyed this book and would like to read or watch similar titles, check out this list I created. Make sure to let me know if you check out anything on the list!
Thanks for following along this month! I hope the comments section will be back next month. Make sure to check out next month's title, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, if you'd like to join us again next month!