Nicholas Sparks is an American novelist. He has published eight novels and among other things there is ”Walk to remember” (1999), which later is adapted in the film of the same name. The novel, set in Beaufort, North Carolina, is a story of two teenagers who fall in love with each other despite the disparity of their personalities. The novel is written in first-person and its narrator is a seventeen year-old boy. The inspiration for Jamie Sullivan’s character and some of the events in the book are from Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who later died of cancer. When Jamie Sullivan is first described, she seems unattractive, yet it is her attractiveness that suprises Landon several times throughout the novel. She carries a Bible with her wherever she goes, but later the reader realizes that it is not a symbol of her piousness but of her „connection to the mother she never met“.
Jamie does not try to teach Landon any life lessons, but she continues to believe there is a good person hidden inside him in spite of his behaviour to the contrary. Jamie’s belief in Landon troubles him enough to cause tremendous change in his personality and values system. She holds him to a higher standard than he has ever been held before, but she does not judge or manipulate Landon in any way. Though they know of each other through school, they really did not know each other until they both were in the same school play. Although Jamie has a much older father and has no mather, she has a close-knit – she loves homelife. In spite of not having any brothers and sisters of her own, she shares her life with orphans who are close to her own age.
In spite of not having much money of her own, she shares her time and money with others at every opportunity. Namely, this novel is very religious, there is even one quote from Bible, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. It is not often that a novel about teenage romance has the main characters discuss their dating morals, ethics and future plans. It is even rarer that those same characters discuss the importance of God in their lives and attribute their hapiness to their faith.
Jamie is one of the best students in her class, but she will not attend college and hopes only to have a large, happy wedding before she dies. She has great faith but admits that it is shaken from time to time, as she awaits death. At the end, Landon decides to fulfill her desire and they marry each oher. Yet, the title of the novel refers to her weakness and sickness, despite which she gathers strength to walk to the altar. All in all, it is refreshing to see a story that, for a change, shows teenagers maturing through situations and becoming young adults who make a difference in the lives of others.
This novel exemplifies how life throws us for a loop. It gives us the most tragic and painful hardships of our lives. But in turn we also receive the greatest gift God has given us and that is love. Through faith, Jamie lives her remaining days on earth the best way she knows how to – by not giving up on her love for God. The moral lesson is not to take the people around us for granted. People came in and out of our lives, and sometimes they change us forever.