book review

A Walk To Remember – Nicholas Sparks (Chapter Summary)

Chapter 1:

Landon Carter narrates his teenage life in Beaufort, California and describes the kind of life people live in that place.

He also describes Hegbert Sullivan as an old man through his physical features —clammy, translucent that kids could see the blood flowing through his veins and hair as white as the bunnies that could be seen in the pet stores during Easter.

Landon Carter was a naughty boy way back when he and his friends were younger, making fun of Hegbert and calling him bad names. He also narrates about the play that Hegbert Sullivan wrote.

Another thing wrong about Landon is that he resents his father for not being there when he grew up. He bore this ill-feeling against him (Landon’s father) for a very long time.

Until then , he meets Jamie Sullivan, Hegbert’s daughter and a senior high school student just like him. Landon didn’t take a liking to Jamie  at first, nor did he consider the thought of hanging out with her for fear of losing or destroying his reputation to his friends.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) clammy: cold and damp (page 3)

2) scribes: teachers of the Jewish law (page 4)

3) retribution: a deserved punishment (page 15)

4) muumuu: a long, loose-fitting cotton dress (page 18)

Chapter 2:

Landon goes to his father’s alarm mater, University of North Carolina, right after school. He didn’t want to go to Harvard or Princeton like his dad pressures him to, as he thinks his grades are not enough for him to pass into those kinds of universities.

He hated the idea of having to spend time with his father as well, as he (Landon’s dad) would always pressure him to do something worthwhile like running for student body president and when it comes to his dad, he doesn’t have any choice but to follow whether he likes it or not.

Landon narrates his story when he was in junior high school, where he had a steady relationship with a  girl named Angela Clark who happened to be his first real girlfriend. However, he got dumped by her during the summer for a guy named Lew. He also tells about the homecoming dance he’s been dreading about since he still doesn’t have any date and been having difficulty in asking a few girls out since either of them already have dates or are unattractive. There were even some who are busy with college.

Not wanting to waste time, Landon thought about going to Jamie Sullivan’s house and ask her out for the homecoming dance before his opponent, Carey Dennison, could.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) tines: a prong or sharp point, such as that of a fork or antler (page 29)

2) asphalt: a mixture of dark bituminous pitch with sand or gravel, used for surfacing, flooring, roofing, etc. (page 30)

3) deranged : mad or insane (page 35)

4) gawky: nervously awkward or ungainly (page 37)

5) wheezing: breathing with a whistling or rattling sound in the chest, as a result of obstruction in the air passages (page 38)

Chapter 3:

Before the homecoming dance, Landon was already having concerns about what Jamie would wear and whether Jamie knew how to dance. He didn’t want Jamie to be wearing the same thing she’d been wearing to school as he didn’t want Jamie to be made fun of, especially by his friends. This is one of Landon’s good side.

Landon even turned down Eric’s offer to double date with him and his partner so as to avoid any chances of Jamie being teased or made fun of. He knew how Eric could be a jerk sometimes.

When the day of the dance came, Landon kept himself busy by helping in decorating the gym and went to the Sullivan’s house to pick up Jamie about half an hour as her dad would want to have a word with him (Landon) without him having any clue why.

By the time Landon had arrived, he and Hegbert had a good talk before picking up Jamie for the dance. At first, Hegbert hesitated to let Landon take his daughter to the dance, thinking that he might, or would, embarrass Jamie in front of the crowd as he knew what kind of people Landon and his friends are.  Upon their arrival at the homecoming dance, most of Landon’s friends kept their distance from him, seeing that he was with Jamie.

Landon had a bad feeling upon seeing Lew and his ex-girlfriend coming to the dance. He didn’t trust Lew right away and got his instincts right when he saw Lew spiking the drinks and leaving Angela when he heard her throwing up in the bathroom.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) lax: not sufficiently strict, severe or careful (page 45)

2) bourbon: a straight whiskey distilled from a mash, having at least 51 percent corn in addition to malt and rye (page 47)

3) dimwit: a stupid or silly person (page 52)

4) glop: a sticky and amorphous substance, typically something unpleasant (page 54)

5) sneered: smiled or spoke in a contemptuous and mocking manner (page 56)

6) retching: made the sound and movement of vomiting (page 59)

Chapter 4:

Two weeks after the homecoming dance, Landon was back to his old ways now that his father was back to Washington D.C. He was back to sneaking out the window and heading to the graveyard, eating boiled peanuts with his friends.

Eric teased Landon about his date with Jamie Sullivan in the middle of their conversation.  He (Landon) didn’t like the way his friends, especially Eric, talked about Jamie. The only thing wrong about Landon here is that he was only using Jamie to impress another girl.

Landon spent his Sunday in his room preparing for his college application to University of North Carolina, most especially on essays. In the middle of his essay writing, Landon receives a phone call from Jamie , asking if he could come over to their house in the afternoon. Hesitant at first, Landon agrees to meet Jamie at her house by five o clock.

Jamie asked Landon for a favor, which was to play the role of Tom Thornton in the school play her father had written. He couldn’t agree or say yes  at the first place just yet, but remembering how Jamie had been there to help him in the homecoming dance, he finally conceded.

Jamie had wanted the play to be special, for her father, especially when she is playing the role of the angel. Not wanting to hurt Jamie’s feelings, Landon agrees to play as Tom Thornton.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) foray: a raid or plunder;  any incursion into another’s domain (page 63)

2) highbrow: a person who cares, or claims to care, a great deal about knowledge and culture (page 64)

3) smitten: to be suddenly impressed, as with a strong feeling or sentiment (page 66)

4) penance: a punishment borne to show sorrow for sin (page 67)

5) hushpuppies: small balls of corn meal fried in deep fat (page 69)

6) squinch: to screw or distort–as the face or eyes (page 73)

Chapter 5:

Landon auditioned for the role of Tom Thornton and got the part, replacing Eddie Jones, who was then relieved. Their rehearsal for the play started the next week in their classroom.

Their teacher, Miss Garber, was in charge of the play’s actual production instead of Hegbert Sullivan who was busy with all his ministering duties. She kept reminding Landon and the rest of the senior students involved in the play to memorize their lines as they only have three weeks to polish it and that they don’t have much time for more rehearsals.

Jamie and Landon rehearse their parts. Landon had a hard time memorizing his lines and had to go over the pages whereas Jamie knew all her lines by heart, as well as Landon’s and everyone else’s lines in the play. Landon’s friends didn’t like the idea of him (Landon) doing the play with Jamie Sullivan , especially Eric.

Due to the teasing and gossip, Landon started to avoid Jamie again, even though he knew it wasn’t any of her fault. He refuses to learn his lines and messes up with it, making everyone in the class except for Jamie and Miss Garber, laugh.

He and his friends would often tease Jamie behind her back, unaware that her feelings get hurt too, even though she doesn’t show it. Despite their teasing, Jamie still remains friendly to Landon and his companions. She also willingly helps Landon go over his lines for the play.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) downtrodden: tyrannized over; oppressed (page 79)

2) rickety: liable to fall or break down (page 79)

3) tacky: unpleasant; disagreeable (page 83)

4) fibs: lies about some small matter (page 83)

5) scorn: mockery or derision; a feeling that a person, animal or act is mean or low; contempt (page 85)

6) furrowing:  tightening and lowering the eyebrows in anxiety, concentration or disapproval, so wrinkling the forehead (page 88)

Chapter 6:

Jamie and Landon approached Miss Garber the next day regarding their plans for the orphans—which was to perform the play in front of them as well. Miss Garber thought this to be a wonderful idea and asked the other senior students involved in the play if they would also be willing to do their parts.

Then after, Jamie and Landon headed off to Morehead City , where the orphanage house was located, to talk to Mr. Jenkins regarding the same thing. Landon wasn’t excited as Jamie was , but he didn’t want to be regarded as the Grinch who spoils Christmas either.

While waiting for the director of the orphanage , Jamie and Landon had a conversation once more, with Jamie praising Landon for doing well in learning or rehearsing his lines for the play, then changed the subject by talking about the future this time. Jamie asks Landon what he plans to do for the future or after he finishes college and suggests that he should become a minister, seeing how good he is with people. Landon laughs at this idea, thinking that becoming a minister is a ridiculous thing to do. Jamie shares her plans for the future as well, which was to get married in the same church where her parents did. To be fair, Landon was getting used to spending time with Jamie and having conversation with her, though there’s still a part of him that hesitates.

Landon describes the orphanage house office they have visited to be almost like a hospital room for its black-and-white tiled floors, white walls and ceilings and a metal cabinet against the wall. Mr. Jenkins, upon Jamie’s requests that they perform the play, opposes to the idea that they do so since it would remind the kids what they’re missing during Christmas season. However, he offered another activity for them that they would enjoy such as sharing or exchanging of gifts and that they could come to visit the orphanage on Christmas Eve.

Landon, seeing Jamie feeling dejected, realized that she wasn’t always the happy and cheerful type and that she also has different emotions like any normal person does. They visited the kids for a short while before leaving the orphanage and going back to their respective homes, as Landon offered just to make Jamie feel better.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) pandemonium: a place of wild disorder or lawless confusion; wild uproar or lawlessness (page 92)

2) conspiratorially: of or having to do with conspiracy or conspirators (page 92)

3) julep: a drink made of whiskey or brandy, sugar, crushed ice and fresh mint (page 95)

4) inquisitive: asking many questions; curious (page 96)

5) dejected: in low spirits; sad; discouraged (page 97)

6) perplexed: bewildered; puzzled (page 102)

7) sparseness: occurring, growing, or settling at widely spaced intervals (page 105)

Chapter 7:

Just over the two weeks of their rehearsals, Landon had to walk Jamie home for her security, though he was against the idea of doing so. But then again, he couldn’t refuse without hurting her feelings or making the next day miserable for either the two of them.

The play was fast approaching and a lot of people were already talking about it. Miss Garber was impressed or delighted with Jamie and Landon that she kept telling everyone how the play was going to be a great success and that she even asked the school newspaper to write an article about the play. Landon doesn’t seem to be excited as everyone in the drama class was and wanted to be out of it as soon as the play was over, as his friends kept on teasing him about the whole Jamie situation, though he felt good about doing the right thing.

Jamie heard about Landon and his friends sneaking out to the graveyard at night and eating boiled peanuts, to Landon’s surprise, when she asked him about it. They had another conversation while walking home from school , which included their usual activities when not in school and their plans for college. Jamie admits that she has doubts about going to college, much to Landon’s dismay.

Throughout their conversation, Landon realized that he and Jamie have something in common –their parent—him without a dad and Jamie without a mom. Landon admits to Jamie he misses his dad somehow as he wasn’t around when Landon grew up whereas Jamie misses her mom, even though she never heard of her that much.

Just before reaching their house, Landon’s friends—Eric and Margaret, caught up with them and teased Landon about walking Jamie from school right after rehearsals even until the next day in school. Landon hurries back to his house after dropping Jamie off at hers.

That late night of their last rehearsal, Landon was in a foul mood that he messed up with his lines once again, refused to walk Jamie home and even raised his voice at her for the first time, to which he felt guilty after, and hating himself for being such a jerk  towards Jamie.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) hotbed: a place or atmosphere that favors the rapid growth or development of any condition, especially something evil (page 108)

2) welshed: cheated by failing to pay a bet ; evaded the fulfillment of an obligation (page 109)

3) flair: natural talent; keen perception (page 110)

4) cider: the juice pressed out of apples, used as a drink and in making vinegar and applejack (page 120)

5) speculation: careful thought, reflection (page 121)

6) suffice: to meet the desires, needs or requirement; to be enough; let it suffice or be sufficient (page 123)

7) kinks: mental twists or queer ideas (page 123)

8) spiteful: full of spite; eager to annoy or behaving with ill will or malice (page 126)

Chapter 8:

The night of the play came for Jamie and Landon, and he had been feeling bad all day for being such a jerk to Jamie and saying mean things to her. He hates himself for being so mean to a girl who’s been nothing but nice to him.

Jamie, thinking that Landon meant those words he have said to her that night before their play, starts avoiding him. Just before their play, Landon mustered up the courage to approach Jamie and apologized to her, which Jamie accepts.

As they begin to perform, Landon was still going  over his lines until it was his turn or part. He was even struck by Jamie’s beauty as she emerges from her dressing room. To be fair, Landon got his lines right, making the first night of their play turn out to be a success.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) lethargic: un-naturally drowsy; sluggish or dull (page 128)

2) trepidation: nervousness; dread (page 128)

3) flub: to do something very clumsily; spoil (page 130)

4) pivotal: very important (page 131)

5) eerie: causing fear; strange or weird (page 133)

6) unscathed: not harmed; un-injured (page 133)

Chapter 9:

The second night of the play was even more successful as the first night as more people came to watch the performance, including Landon’s friend Eric who even congratulated him for the job well done.

When Landon was about to approach Jamie, he saw her off to the side talking to her father. Jamie approached Landon right after talking with the rest of the cast involved in the play, thanking him for doing the play with her. Landon began to like Jamie and was worried about her that people might treat her even worse,  now that she’s back to her usual self after the play. He was still feeling guilty for the things he had said to her that previous night before their play and wished he had the opportunity to walk her home after the night of their last performance. He even came to this realization that he’d been wrong in treating Jamie very badly.

Right after school, Jamie approached Landon , reminding him of his promise that he’d make it up to her and suggested what he could do—gather the pickle jars and coffee cans she’d set out in business all over the towns as the collected money goes for the orphanage. At first, Landon was hesitant , remembering how he and his friends would trick Jamie by putting paper clips and slugs, making Jamie think that they had put money in it. But then, he kept reminding himself that he was the one who made a promise that he’s make it up to her and how Jamie had helped him when he’s in need. He then agreed to do it, as there’s nothing much for him to do.

Landon was disheartened when he counted the amount of money collected in the first day and was about to give up the next day as it got worse but then again, he had to continue picking up the jars in Jamie’s favor and brought them over to her house so that they could count the total amount of money , to which Jamie was overjoyed as she counted them, totaling to $247.

The next day, which was Christmas Eve, Jamie and Landon came to visit the orphanage, bringing along with them the presents for the kids. Little did Jamie know that Landon had something for her as well, from which he’d spent his last dollar just to get her a nice new sweater. Much to Landon’s surprise when he visited the orphanage, the rec room looked so much better than it did during his first visit with Jamie. He was even more surprised to see Jamie with her  hair hung loosely and wearing a red V-neck sweater instead of the old brown cardigan she use to wear in school.

Right after the story-telling, Jamie and Landon handed out the gifts, which the kids excitedly opened. Landon admitted to himself that it was the best Christmas Eve he has ever spent. With the kids off to bed, Jamie and Landon exchanged gifts with each other. Jamie gave her Bible to Landon as a present, thanking him for giving her the best Christmas. Landon then suddenly realizes he has fallen in love with Jamie Sullivan.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) forged: moved forward slowly but steadily (page 139)

2) wince: to draw back suddenly or flinch slightly (page 141)

3) proprietor: a person who owns something as his possession or property (page 143)

4) hounds-tooth: having a broken check pattern (page 146)

5) tinsel: a glittering copper, brass or some other metal in thin sheets, strips or threads (page 147)

6) rapt: lost in delight; enraptured or ecstatic (page 148)

7) frenzy: near madness; frantic condition or very great excitement (page 150)

8) squeals: long, sharp and shrill cries (page 150)

9) ethereal: light, airy or heavenly (page 150)

10) mesmerized: hypnotized (page 153)

Chapter 10:

Landon and Jamie started dating, even though Hegbert was still hesitant in letting his daughter go with guys like him (Landon). He had also noticed that Hegbert s sermons were shorter than usual, like he’s always tired and sad, which makes Landon feel that something’s odd about Jamie’s father.

Jamie had asked Landon if he ever thought about God and His plan, like why things always turn out the way they do, to which Landon gave a very good answer—they just have to have faith. Landon once again asks Jamie out on a dinner date with his family. Jamie was beginning to enjoy Landon’s company as well at that time.

During the dinner, Jamie had noticed that Landon’s parents were not as bad as they were. She praised Landon for having such a nice family. Landon asks Jamie out of curiosity if her dad likes her, wondering if Hegbert would allow Jamie to see him again, to which Jamie honestly responds that Hegbert worries both about her and Landon.

Landon drops by Jamie’s place the next day. Instead of walking towards the side of the porch, he sits next to Jamie and reaches for her hand, taking it in his which surprises Jamie for a bit. They kissed for the first time.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) bluff: try to deceive someone as to one’s abilities or intentions (page 158)

2) volition: the faculty or power of using one’s own will (page 160)

3) sallow: of an unhealthy yellow or pale brown color (page 161)

4) gnarled: knobbly, rough and twisted, especially with age (page 166)

Chapter 11:

While on their date, Jamie asks Landon if he had ever been in love, to which Landon didn’t know what answer to give, as he was unsure on how he would answer to her question. However, he  then finally admits that he had which makes Jamie asks another question –how does he know that it’s love. Landon gives a simple answer—he knows that it’s love when all he wants to do is spend time with the other person and that he sort of knows that the other person feels the same way, that of which Jamie thinks about deeply and considers.

Landon takes Jamie out to a real dinner date at Flauvin’s, as suggested by his mom. He asks permission from Hegbert first, who was hesitant for the mean time, but then allows it only for one condition that he doesn’t see Jamie hurt and that he brings her back home by ten. Landon seizes the opportunity to apologize to Hegbert for the things he and his friends have done when they were younger and for not treating Jamie nicely as how she should be treated.

During their dinner date and the succeeding other dates, Landon had noticed that Jamie seemed tired and listless. There were times when she’d sleep in the car before they reach home. At this point, Jamie’s condition was showing signs and symptoms –slight fever, fatigue, feeling sick, loss of appetite, weight loss and bruises. Despite this and unaware of Jamie’s illness , Landon finally confesses his true feelings to Jamie , that he loves her and that she’s the best thing that ever happened to him. Jamie, upon hearing these three words, tears up and tells Landon that he can’t fall in love with her as she’s very sick and that she’s dying.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) dunes: a mound or ridge of sand or other loose sediment formed by the wind, especially on the sea cost or in the desert (page 172)

2) slick: done or operating in an impressively smooth, efficient and apparently effortless way (page 173)

3) listless: lacking energy or enthusiasm (page 184)

4) blustery: characterized by strong winds (page 185)

5) bruise: an injury appearing as an area of discolored skin on the body, caused by a blow or impact rupturing underlying blood vessels (page 187)

6) despondent: in low spirits from loss of hope or courageous (page 187)

7) queasy: nauseated; feeling sick (page 187)

Chapter 12:

Landon finally learns about Jamie’s condition and everything starts to make sense to him –why she wanted him to do the play, why Hegbert had called Jamie his angel, why he looked so tired all the time and why he was worried every time Landon drops by their place. It also became clearer to him why Jamie wanted Christmas at the orphanage to be special, why she had given him her Bible and why she didn’t think she’ll be going to college. Jamie Sullivan is sick and dying.

Landon finds it hard at first to accept what was happening between him and Jamie, angered and hurt she didn’t tell him in the first place about her condition. Jamie admitted being diagnosed with leukemia seven months ago and that’d been the one who decided not to tell anyone and requested her father to do the same.

On Monday , during school, Landon never saw Jamie in school, making him realize that he’d never see her again walking in the hallways, reading her Bible and even wearing her brown cardigan. It all sinks in to him that she’s finished with school and will never receive her diploma.  When Landon dropped by their place, they talk about her illness again and Jamie admits that she’s not going back to school as she needs to spend more time with her father as much as she can before she dies. She admits as well for the first time that she’s afraid but doesn’t show it in public as she doesn’t want Landon to worry that much.

The following day that came, Jamie’s condition worsens, with no chances of recovery. Visible signs like weight loss, skin turning grayish, bones starting to show through her skin, bruises and intolerance to cold weather were starting to show once more.

Landon’s friends—Eric and Margaret—had also learned about Jamie’s illness. They came to apologize for their mean demeanor towards her. By early February, Jamie felt even worse as the effects of the medicine didn’t seem to help and her visit to the hospital became more regular, though she insisted she didn’t want to stay overnight and that she wanted to die at home.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) fretted: constantly or visibly worried or anxious (page 192)

2) anguish: severe mental or physical pain or suffering (page 193)

3) compulsion: an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes (page 202)

4) petition: a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause (page 203)

5) valiantly: boldly courageous; stout-hearted (page 205)

6) fluke: unlikely chance of occurrence, especially a surprising piece of luck (page 215)

7) gleam: a faint or brief light, especially one reflected from something (page 218)

8) euphoric: characterized by feeling intense excitement or happiness (page 229)

9) disheveled: untidy; disordered (page 229)

Chapter 13:

Jamie and Landon got married on March 12, 1959 at the same church where her parents wedded, with the permission of Hegbert and Landon’s parents.

Landon knew Jamie had changed his life and the kind of man he is. She changed him from a naughty and irresponsible boy to a grown up and God fearing man. With Jamie’s help, Landon and his father reconciled and built a stronger relationship with him. He also learned the value of forgiveness the way she did when Eric and Margaret came by her house to apologize to her, as well as not to hold any grudges against anyone.

Jamie slowly walks the aisle with her father as she makes her way to Landon—her groom and husband-to-be. Hegbert finally gave his blessings to both Jamie and Landon.

Days later after their wedding, Jamie dies. Landon narrates himself once again, this time as a fifty-seven year old man, sharing his memories of Jamie Sullivan.

Unknown words in this chapter:
1) cynical: believing that people are motivated by self-interests; distrustful of human sincerity or integrity. (page 234)

2) surge: to move very quickly and in a particular direction; to suddenly increase to an unusually high level (page 237)

3) perched: to sit somewhere, especially on something high or narrow (page 238)