No one writes a love story like Nicholas Sparks and this book is definitely one of his best. The book is divided into three parts. In part one, John explains his difficult childhood having been raised solely by his father with little knowledge of his mother. His father is a kind, loving man in his own way but is unable to show emotion or carry on a conversation on any subject except the coins he collects. John survives the school years, often never fitting in, and joins the army. On leave he meets Savannah, a young college student. Needless to say, a strong and unexpected friendship develops which eventually leads to romance.
In part two, John returns to Germany where he is stationed. Savannah returns to college to finish her education and establish a career. During the years that follow, John returns each year on leave with promises of a life together. However, various world events prevent John from returning to the States permanently which puts a strain on his plans to marry Savannah. As both John and Savannah discover, it is difficult to keep the flame burning in a long distance relationship. For all they share in common, they discover great differences in each other as well. Finally, John receives a heartrendering "Dear John" letter telling him Savannah is in love with someone else, her best friend since childhood.
Part three, continues the tale of John and Savannah's separate lives. There is a twist to the end of this story that is bittersweet, leaving the reader reaching for the nearest box of tissues. This is no "happily ever after" story, but one filled with joy, heartbreak, kindness, compassion and appreciation for the beautiful memories life bestows upon. "Dear John" is a story that stays with you long after the pages have been read. Cherish the dreams, hold on to the memories, for nothing lasts forever.