A Walk to Remember

Walk to rememberI can say however, that A Walk to Remember was my favorite novel to write. I enjoyed the process of capturing the voice of a smart-alecky 17-year-old kid. Likewise with Jamie Sullivan. There was something intrinsically sweet about her character that gradually seemed to take over the book. – Nicholas Sparks

There was a time when the world was sweeter….when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats…. Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he’d been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he’d fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town’s Baptist minister….Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living. The inspiration for this novel came from Nicholas Sparks’s sister: her life and her courage. From the internationally bestselling author Nicholas Sparks, comes his most moving story yet….

A Walk to Remember is a 2002 American coming-of-age romantic drama film directed by Adam Shankman and written by Karen Janszen, based on Nicholas Sparks’ 1999 novel of the same name. The film stars Shane West, Mandy Moore, Peter Coyote and Daryl Hannah, and was produced by Denise Di Novi and Hunt Lowry for Warner Bros. Pictures.

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.” 
― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister. A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it. Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood…

The inspiration for A Walk to Remember was Nicholas Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died of cancer in 2000. In a speech he gave after her death in Berlin, the author admits that “In many ways, Jamie Sullivan was my younger sister”. The plot was inspired by her life; Danielle met a man who wanted to marry her, “even when he knew she was sick, even when he knew that she might not make it”.  Both the book and film are dedicated to Danielle Sparks Lewis.

Did You Know?—

That Jamie was named after Nicholas’s editor, Jamie Raab?

That Landon is the name of his third son?

That Nicholas Sparks recorded his own reading for the audio version of the novel?

The book was adapted into a movie in 2002.  While there are many similarities to the novel, many changes were made. On his personal website, Sparks explains the decisions behind the differences. For example, he and the producer decided to update the setting from the 1950s to the 1990s, worrying that a film set in the 50s would fail to draw teens. “To interest them,” he writes, “we had to make the story more contemporary.” To make the update believable, Landon’s pranks and behavior are worse than they are in the novel; as Sparks notes, “the things that teen boys did in the 1950s to be considered a little ‘rough’ are different than what teen boys in the 1990s do to be considered ‘rough.'”

“I held her close to me with my eyes closed, wonering if anything in my life had ever been this perfect and knowing at the same time that it hadn’t. I was in love, and the feeling was even more wonderful than I ever imagined it could be.” 
― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

 

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