When the novel opens, Travis is feeling guilty about an argument he had with his wife. His friends assure him, however, that guilt is “the cornerstone of a good marriage.” What do they mean by this and do you agree?
Travis says that his father knew he would marry his mother the minute he touched her hand. How do you know when you’ve met “the right one”? Do you believe in love at first sight?
Do you think it is right for Gabby to get intimately involved with Travis while she insists she loves someone else? Is it possible to be “in love” with two different men at the same time?
Gabby is in a committed relationship with Kevin, but he doesn’t offer to marry her. Travis does. What are the differences between a committed relationship and a marriage? Do you think marriage is always a better option?
Travis says “There’s no such thing as being friends, not with single men and women our age.” Do you agree? Is it possible for men and women to be friends?
The small town of Beaufort has a significant presence in the book. What are the advantages and disadvantages of small town life? Why do you think Nicholas Sparks sets so many of his books in small towns?
Travis is a veterinarian and both Gabby and Travis own dogs. What does their relationship with animals reveal about their characters?
During the course of the novel, Travis decides having close friends isn’t enough for him and he needs Gabby in his life. How important are friends in having a happy, fulfilled life? Can they be more important than a spouse? More important than family?
Did you believe that Travis was responsible for the car accident? Why or why not?
The free-spirited Travis adapts readily to married life and his role as a father. Do you think it’s common for men who shy away from commitment to change dramatically when the right woman comes along?
Does anything positive result from the terrible accident that Gabby has?
What is the “choice” Travis must make? What do you make of his choice and what would you have done if you were in his position?
Gabby and Travis discuss the fate of Kenneth and Eleanor Baker frequently, yet view what happened to this couple somewhat differently. Whose view do you share, Gabby’s or Travis’s? What do you think accounts for the difference in the way Kenneth and Travis deal with their tragedies?
Travis asks, “How far should a person go in the name of love?” How far is Travis willing to go? What is the most difficult choice you’ve made in the name of love?
What do you make of the novel’s ending? Were you surprised by the story’s conclusion?