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Not enough is said about the trials and tribulations of love when you're in the military; and even less about the struggles one faces with aging family back home. But this books makes a perfect example about the real-life sacrifices and choices service members often have to make in order to serve.
Set in a comfortable and memorable beach background, John Tyree is portrayed as a lovable yet reluctant romantic, who falls for Savannah Curtis, and begins exchanging letters with her while deployed. John must face the challenge of dating Savannah in a long stance relationship while they both change as people, and manage the progression of his father's Asberger Syndrome.
Nicholas Spark's use of Johns relationship with Savannah strengthens the attachment of the reader, in his many mentions of Savannah's training with Autistic children; a condition very similar to Asberger, and how she helps John along with things he did not understand about his father before she enlightened him.
The story also tears at the heart strings of anyone who has ever been in a relationship where circumstance often plays a large role in its outcome. Overall this book opens a door to readers about what it's like to love so terribly strong, and how military life plays a part in who someone is at their core and how it helps them succeed; but all in return for an immense amount of sacrifice and experience.
Be prepared to be taken back to a time in your life when you were old enough to love anyone you wanted, yet young enough to still enjoy a carefree relationship, full of summer romance and memories with "that amazing guy" who wears a military standard and uniform to add to his appeal and lovableness. The story takes place in a time that everyone has encountered at one point or another, meeting summer love and making memories that never fade, long after both lives may have gone their separate ways. It enhances those "alone" moments in the rain and makes the reader feel a part of the events as if experiencing their own affairs all over again.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a tale of romance that encourages both excitement and sadness in the reader; for a well rounded experience.