From Publishers Weekly
From The Washington Post
In the days following Sept. 11, 2001, hardly anyone, not even the late night comedians, knew what to say. Now, more than five years later, the roster of books and films addressing 9/11 and its consequences has grown long. There are explorations of religion and foreign policy, memoirs of life on the 21st-century battlefield, depictions of global culture, investigations, predictions and elegies. With Nicholas Sparks's contribution to the list, Dear John, we see our political climate in yet another light: candlelight, maybe. Or moonlight.
Narrator John Tyree is a wayward son of Wilmington, N.C., reformed first by the service (he seems to shed most of his rebelliousness at boot camp) and later by love. John meets Savannah Lynn Curtis while home on leave, in June of 2000. Savannah, a rising senior at UNC, is spending her summer building houses for those without. The couple share two fleeting weeks -- including an innocent scene under a half-built roof that's as big-screen-ready as they come -- before John must return to his post in Germany. For more than a year, he pines and she endures, counting the days until he will be honorably discharged.
Then the Twin Towers fall. Rather than returning to his love, John reenlists. In January 2003, his unit is sent into Turkey, then transferred to Kuwait. In March, he takes part in the invasion of Iraq. While John's days play out in the desert (when asked about his time there, all he mentions is the sand), Savannah must face her own unlucky destiny. Finally, with the death of John's father, whose somewhat unbelievable tale provides the main subplot of the book, the two are reunited and left to sort things out amid their tears and ours.
It isn't hard to picture John Tyree. We can simply imagine his predecessors, men in uniform staring pensively from earlier wartime romances. Apart from the occasional detail -- e-mail, cellphone, Outback Steakhouse -- Dear John could take place in any modern American era. For Sparks, weighty matters of the day remain set pieces, furniture upon which to hang timeless tales of chaste longing and harsh fate. Only in a novel such as this could we find our political buzzwords -- peacekeeping, IEDs, hurricane relief -- interspersed with these sentiments: "And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever."This book has been made into a movie which will be in theaters in February. The movie stars Channing Tatum (soo cute) and Amanda Seyfried (she's from my hometown and also starred in Mama Mia). I'm so excited for this movie to come out! Check out the trailer (I love the song they use in the background).