Why? Why? Why?
I asked myself this question at least a dozen times after putting down A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. I’d figured out the ending very early on in the book, so my reaction was unrelated to shock factor. I haven’t seen the movie, but there were very prominent clues of foreshadowing early in the book, so it was easy to tell what was going on. I’m much less naive than Landon, I suppose. As much as I’m a fan of unexpected plot twists, I still appreciate A Walk to Remember and think it falls into the category of books that is worth reading every single word.
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do we judge others who are different from us? Why, why, why? A Walk to Remember is a statement for society. It’s easy to judge someone because they’re a little bit different, but you have absolutely no idea what battle they’re fighting. Dig a little deeper into someone’s life. A Walk to Remember is not a traditional love story.
Early in the book, Landon — the main character — paints Reverend Hegbert Sullivan and his daughter, Jamie, as outcasts of the community (What kind of name is ‘Hegbert’ anyway?). Hegbert doesn’t like Landon’s father because of bad blood he has with Landon’s grandfather. Jamie is a sweet Preacher’s Kid who loves everyone, treats everyone like she wants to be treated, yet she’s frequently laughed at and viewed “weird” by her fellow classmates. She volunteers at the orphanage, she’s always smiling with a positive outlook on life.
Her mother died in childbirth, and she’s the light of her father’s life. She’s his “angel”. The first half of the story revolves around a play that Hegbert penned, about a father who’s looking for a gift for his daughter and he meets an angel, who guides him. The play is performed by high school seniors every year, so it’s Jamie and Landon’s senior year. Jamie plays the angel, and she asks Landon to play the father. At the end of the play, the father realizes how much he loves his daughter and how she’s all he has left of her mother.
She’s all he has, and that’s all I could think about when I put down the book. While the book is about Landon and how Jamie changed his life, the question that plagued my mind was: What happened to Hegbert?
Read this book if you’re looking for a testimony to life in addition to a good cry. It’s the perfect length, too. The perfect summer book to read next to the pool. You always have the option to jump in the pool if you wish to mask your tears.
Now, I must watch the movie. I’ve wanted to see it since I saw previews when it first came out and I was ten. I was a huge Mandy Moore fan back then. At the time, I had no idea it was based off a book. No idea why I never saw it, but I am very pro “read the book before seeing the movie.” I like to form my own visualizations of the characters and situations first.