[For the Rules, click here.]
The Bible still lay open where I'd left off, and although Jamie was sleeping, I felt the need to read some more. Eventually I came across another passage. This is what it said:
"I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it to the earnestness of others."
The words made me choke up again, and just as I was about to cry, the meaning of it suddenly became clear.
God had finally answered me, and I suddenly knew what I had to do.
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Synopsis: Landon Carter knew Jamie Sullivan all his life--or thought he did. The pulled-back hair, the brown cardigan, and especially the Bible she carried everywhere set her apart in high school even in the Fifties. When Landon needs a date last-minute to a school dance, Jamie is willing to go on one condition. Only in the process of breaking that pledge to her does Landon learn what it means to live in love for God and others.
* * *
I'm not the world's biggest fan of 'heartwarming' books; such stories often feel like cheap emotional manipulation. Nick Sparks' A Walk to Remember is a different story. Having grown up Southern Baptist, I know the culture, and I know very well the experience of being a shy, awkward teenager whose faith and ideas do not mix with the outside world. Jamie had my immediate sympathies, and when someone referred to the movie and told me "You remind me so much of that girl!", I felt no one could give me a better compliment.
(The movie, by the way, is pretty good: Mandy Moore does a great job in her role and Shane West in his; but it had the usual unfortunate Hollywood edits to make it feel rather less Christian. Maybe after Fireproof, Bella, etc., future books will stand a better chance of being correctly interpreted.)
Jamie is one of my favorite heroines of all time. Call it cheesy if you will, but I look up to her and find her story powerful. I also enjoy watching Landon's character growth and the way wrongs get put right throughout the book.