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Sparks wrote the manuscripts for A Walk to Remember, his third novel, in the summer of 1998. He wrote it in North Carolina, which is the setting of the novel.Like his first published novel The Notebook, the prologue to A Walk to Remember was written last.The title A Walk to Remember was taken from one of the tail end pages of the novel: "In every way, a walk to remember."
The novel is written in first-person, and its narrator is a seventeen year-old boy, living in the 1950s. The novel was inspired by Sparks' sister,Danielle Sparks Lewis, who later died of cancer in June 2000.
Although the story is largely fictional, certain parts were based on real experiences.For example, his sister's husband proposed marriage to her despite her sickness.
After her death, Sparks said in the eulogy: "... I suppose I wrote this novel not only so that you could get to know my sister, but so that you would know what a wonderful thing it was that her husband once did for her."