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becke_davis
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The Choice: Spoiler Alert

[ Edited ]
Having read Nicholas Sparks books before, I should have seen the surprise of the book's second half long before it was spelled out, but like a good writer/magician, he used misdirection to send my thoughts in a different direction.

By the time we find out what the critical choice is, we have become invested in Travis and Gabby -- the past we have shared with them, and the future we want them to share. At the same time, we understand that Gabby is a strong character, and that Travis would know better than to lightly disregard a promise he had made to her in the past -- a promise that Gabby has not only requested of him, but had insisted on. We are shown exactly why the promise was so important to Gabby.

In real life, what happened to Gabby and Travis would be a tragic irony. I hope I don't insult Nicholas Sparks fans if I say that in one of his books, it was more of an inevitability. I don't like it when I feel that authors are manipulating my feelings, but while I did suspected that this book would end in the manner that it did, I still liked it. I felt that Travis could not have acted in any other way, although the outcome could not have been assured in fiction or reality.

But there is the rub: parts of this story are clearly related to the Terri Schiavo tragedy, and I wouldn't be surprised if that fiasco inspired Sparks to write the book. One of the reasons we are drawn to fiction is that it often helps us make sense of reality, but while I felt that Travis' decision was preordained, if the situation involved people I know or love in real life, I don't know if I would have the same reaction.

What if it was you? What if you felt strongly about "do not resuscitate" contracts, living wills, or other means of indicating your personal choice should you be put in a similar situation? How would you feel if your closest loved ones decided to override your decision, or if your husband/wife, parents or other responsible parties disagreed?

In this case, Travis' choice is redeemed by fate, but real life is not always so clean cut. What do you think about his decision to override Gabby's choice? What if the outcome had not been so positive? If it was someone close to you and the decision was yours, what choice would you make -- or what would be the deciding factor in making your decision?

Message Edited by becke_davis on 10-01-2007 08:36 PM
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Jody1S
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

Well, I can say that I really enjoyed this book. Believe me, I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, and honestly, if he wrote it, I'll read it and love it...lol I will have to say that they do tend to go in the same direction at the end. After my reading of one of his last novels, I won't say which one as not to spoil it for others who may not have read it yet, it ended a little sad, so I really needed a happy ending.


As far as how I would feel if my loved one decided to override my wishes, I would have to honestly say that I would understand why they made the choice to do so. It's hard to ask someone you love to let you go in that way. When Travis made the choice to disregard her wishes I thought it was the only choice he could make. It is a touchy subject and maybe that's why Sparks didn't go into details about the consequences that were sure to come up later on down the road when Travis and Gabby finally were able to talk about the choice he made.

Even though it could have gone in the direction of her never waking up, or maybe she wouldn't have woken up for years later. Maybe he would have moved on and met someone, and just when he was ready to let her go and start a new life, bamm, she wakes up....LOL I suspect that would have to have been a whole new book to add all that in there.

I do, however, love the way the book ended and as I read the last line, I thought this would be great if made into a movie. I even thought I might go out and get the audio version just so I could listen to it as it was read.

Jody
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becke_davis
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

[ Edited ]

Jody1S wrote:
Well, I can say that I really enjoyed this book. Believe me, I am a huge Nicholas Sparks fan, and honestly, if he wrote it, I'll read it and love it...lol I will have to say that they do tend to go in the same direction at the end. After my reading of one of his last novels, I won't say which one as not to spoil it for others who may not have read it yet, it ended a little sad, so I really needed a happy ending.


As far as how I would feel if my loved one decided to override my wishes, I would have to honestly say that I would understand why they made the choice to do so. It's hard to ask someone you love to let you go in that way. When Travis made the choice to disregard her wishes I thought it was the only choice he could make. It is a touchy subject and maybe that's why Sparks didn't go into details about the consequences that were sure to come up later on down the road when Travis and Gabby finally were able to talk about the choice he made.

Even though it could have gone in the direction of her never waking up, or maybe she wouldn't have woken up for years later. Maybe he would have moved on and met someone, and just when he was ready to let her go and start a new life, bamm, she wakes up....LOL I suspect that would have to have been a whole new book to add all that in there.

I do, however, love the way the book ended and as I read the last line, I thought this would be great if made into a movie. I even thought I might go out and get the audio version just so I could listen to it as it was read.

Jody




I was intrigued by your comment about what would happen when Travis and Gabby eventually have to discuss the choice he made, and the fact that he disregarded her specific wishes. On one level, I'm sure she would understand and be glad. But would it affect her trust of him?

Message Edited by becke_davis on 10-02-2007 12:40 AM
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Jody1S
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

I'm sure a whole new book could arise from the consequences of Travis disgregarding Gabby's wishes. I think the fact that he didn't keep his promise to her would cause her to lose trust in him. In the end when Travis was consistently worried whether she's going to fall asleep again and not wake up, it shows that the possibility of that happening was still there. If that were the case, how could Gabby trust that Travis would respect here wishes this time.

I can see a whole new story line about this couple going through the pains of regaining that trust and then, of course, in that "Sparks" style of writing that we all love we can have a nice romantic ending.

Jody
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Jody1S
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

okay, so where is everybody!!!......
Wordsmith
kiakar
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert



Jody1S wrote:
okay, so where is everybody!!!......




We need some discussion guides up, someone? Where to start? Its a great book, we just need a boost. Ok?
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert



becke_davis wrote:
Having read Nicholas Sparks books before, I should have seen the surprise of the book's second half long before it was spelled out, but like a good writer/magician, he used misdirection to send my thoughts in a different direction.

By the time we find out what the critical choice is, we have become invested in Travis and Gabby -- the past we have shared with them, and the future we want them to share. At the same time, we understand that Gabby is a strong character, and that Travis would know better than to lightly disregard a promise he had made to her in the past -- a promise that Gabby has not only requested of him, but had insisted on. We are shown exactly why the promise was so important to Gabby.

In real life, what happened to Gabby and Travis would be a tragic irony. I hope I don't insult Nicholas Sparks fans if I say that in one of his books, it was more of an inevitability. I don't like it when I feel that authors are manipulating my feelings, but while I did suspected that this book would end in the manner that it did, I still liked it. I felt that Travis could not have acted in any other way, although the outcome could not have been assured in fiction or reality.

But there is the rub: parts of this story are clearly related to the Terri Schiavo tragedy, and I wouldn't be surprised if that fiasco inspired Sparks to write the book. One of the reasons we are drawn to fiction is that it often helps us make sense of reality, but while I felt that Travis' decision was preordained, if the situation involved people I know or love in real life, I don't know if I would have the same reaction.

What if it was you? What if you felt strongly about "do not resuscitate" contracts, living wills, or other means of indicating your personal choice should you be put in a similar situation? How would you feel if your closest loved ones decided to override your decision, or if your husband/wife, parents or other responsible parties disagreed?

In this case, Travis' choice is redeemed by fate, but real life is not always so clean cut. What do you think about his decision to override Gabby's choice? What if the outcome had not been so positive? If it was someone close to you and the decision was yours, what choice would you make -- or what would be the deciding factor in making your decision?

Message Edited by becke_davis on 10-01-2007 08:36
PM






THIS IS DEFINITELY A SPOILER S P O I L E R If you havent finished the book.



Ok, What I would think is, if Gabby had not of come out of the coma, and it had been months and so on like the other women mentioned in the book. I believe that Travis would have made another decision. I feel a few months, six months maybe even a year is too soon to decide that kind of fate. You are killing that person when you take the feeding tubes away. Putting the machine on a person to breathe is different. If a person can't breathe on their own after a year, that is extremely different I feel than a feeding tube.
I didn't agree in the Terry case because I felt that the parents could and wanted to take care of Terry in the moment and they should have been granted their wish. If they died or became disabled then that decision could have been reevaluated. The women had emotions, she cried, laughed and focued on her parents when they were there. I thought it was cruel to take her feeding tube. And it was obivious that her husband just wanted her out of the way so he could remarry.
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,755
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

Sorry, I've been away from my computer for the weekend -- went to Chicago to watch my son run in the marathon.

So, let's take the discussion further. Several of you have suggested there is enough material for a follow-up book here, based on the fall-out from Travis' choice.

Where would you take the book if you were writing it?
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datsme
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

This is a tough subject because on paper it is one thing to make your wishes known with the hopes that no one ever has to carry them out. But when something tragic like this actually happens, it is obviously a terribly difficult position to be in especially when it is someone you've shared your life and dreams with.

Of course, this situation has a fairy tale ending, happily-ever-after, but real-life is not always this way. When Travis was faced with the choice, I honestly thought he would take her off at that hospital and I thought she would make a miraculous recovery and function on her own. Another twist.
It was touching though how as soon as she "came to", she was back to being herself and even reprimanded Travis, "You've got to stop doing this! I need my sleep."

Don't you love a book that makes you think so much? My husband and I have spelled out everything in our living will including DNR specifics, but this made me think how I'd handle this situation, or what he would do, so I'm going to talk to him about it tonight and/or make him read this book!
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chelly3305
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Registered: ‎09-13-2007
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Re: The Choice: Spoiler Alert

I purposely did not read any other comments before I answered, so if I repeat, I apologize.

Of course, as soon as I finished reading the book, I immediately asked myself these same questions. Selfishly, I feel the same way Gabby does. But the decisions we're asking our loved ones to make, really become about them at that point, don't they? If you're completely unconscious, how would you know whether you're kept alive for two weeks, or ten years? You wouldn't. So the question, what would you want your loved ones to do...I would want them to do what they feel is best. If Travis did what Gabby wanted him to do, they both would have lost so much, as would their children. "Knowing" Travis, do you think he would have hung on to Gabby indefinitely? No. He would have held on as long as he needed to. I trust that my husband would react the same way. So I guess it really depends on how you view the person you expect to make these decisions for you. Do you trust that they will do what's best? Or do you think they would be too scared to do the right thing? What is the right thing? For me, the right thing means to do what you feel is in your gut. I believe your gut instincts are never wrong. My husband makes decisions on that same premise. So for me, I think in my wills, it will simply state, "Ask my husband."
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