Message in a Bottle (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Message in a Bottle
Message in a Bottle Cover.jpg
First edition cover
Author Nicholas Sparks
Country United States
Language English
Genre Romance
Publisher Warner Books
Publication date
April 1, 1998 (1998-04-01)
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 352
ISBN 0-446-52356-9
OCLC 37878680
813/.54 21
LC Class PS3569.P363 M47 1998

Message in a Bottle is the second romance novel written by American author Nicholas Sparks. The story, which explores the romance theme of love after grief, is set in the mid-late 1990s, then-contemporary Wilmington, North Carolina. The 1999 film Message in a Bottle produced by and starring Kevin Costner, is based on this novel.

Plot summary[edit]

Divorced and disillusioned about romantic relationships, Theresa Osborne is jogging when she finds a bottle on the beach. Inside is a letter of love and belonging to "Catherine," signed simply "Garrett." Challenged by the mystery and pulled by emotions she doesn't fully understand, Theresa begins a search for this man that will change her life. What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous-an encounter that embraces all our hopes for finding someone special, for having a true and strong love that is timeless and everlasting. In a conference Nicholas Sparks held in a school, he said that this story was inspired by his parents.[1]

A letter from “Message in a Bottle” by Nicholas Sparks

September 25, 1995

Dear Catherine,

A month has passed since I have written, but it has seemed to pass much more slowly. Life passes by now like the scenery outside a car window. I breathe and eat and sleep as I always did, but there seems to be no great purpose in my life that requires active participation on my part. I simply drift along like the messages I write you. I do not know where I am going or when I will get there.

Even work does not take the pain away. I may be diving for my own pleasure or showing others how to do so, but when I return to the shop, it seems empty without you. I stock and order as I always did, but even now, I sometimes glance over my shoulder without thinking and call for you. As I write this note to you, I wonder when, or if, things like that will ever stop.

Without you in my arms, I feel an emptiness in my soul. I find myself searching the crowds for your face—I know it is an impossibility, but I cannot help myself. My search for you is a never-ending quest that is doomed to fail. You and I had talked about what would happen if we were forced apart by circumstance, but I cannot keep the promise I made to you that night. I am sorry, I am truly sorry, my darling, but there will never be another to replace you. The words I whispered to you were folly, and I should have realized it then. You—and you alone—have always been the only thing I wanted, and now that you are gone, I have no desire to find another. Till death do us part, we whispered in the church, and I have come to believe that the words will ring true until the day finally comes when I, too, am taken from this world.



  • Theresa Osborne - main character, columnist, divorced.
  • Garrett Blake - The character who writes letters in bottles.
  • Catherine - Garrett's wife who died in an accident; letters are addressed to her.
  • Deanna - Theresa's friend and boss, owner of beach home.
  • Jeb Blake - Garrett's father.
  • Kevin Osborne - Theresa and David's son.
  • Brian - Deanna's husband.
  • David Osborne - Theresa's ex-husband and Kevin's father.


  1. ^ Nicholas Sparks "Message in a Bottle", Barnes and Noble, accessed August 18, 2011.

External links[edit]