The story begins when soldier John Tyree is on vacation in Charleston, South Carolina. He rescues the purse of Savannah Curtis, a student at the University of North Carolina, from the ocean. While thanking him, Savannah invites John to a party and the two begin to date. Eventually, Savannah meets John's father Alan, who is reclusive and obsessive. Savannah deduces from her social work that Alan might be autistic. John takes offense at this observation and, following several fights, they drift apart.
Once John returns to Army service, the two send each other romantic letters. However, Savannah spends more time with Tim Wheddon, her neighbor, and her social work with autistic children. Although John and Savannah planned to get together after his service, John decides to re-enlist because of the September 11 attacks. As a result, Savannah sends John a letter that ends their romantic relationship and announces her engagement to Tim.
John returns from his army service when his father dies. John takes the opportunity to visit Savannah and he finds out Tim is dying of lymphoma. John decides to sell his father's coin collection to assist in Tim's treatment; however, Tim eventually passes away. The film ends when John sees Savannah at a coffee shop.Learn more about Art & Literature