John Tyree is a handsome, soft-spoken Special Forces soldier visiting his father in South Carolina while on leave. Savannah Curtis is a beautiful, idealistic college student from a wealthy Southern family, home for spring break. John and Savannah are from different worlds, but through a chance encounter at the beach, the two meet and are immediately attracted to each other. Their meeting turns into a whirlwind two-week courtship and their feelings quickly deepen into an all-consuming, passionate love. Each finds in the other something they'd never known they were missing. When John is forced to return to his deployment and Savannah heads back to college, the couple promises to write one another. Through a continuous stream of letters, their love continues to blossom and a deeply romantic love story unfolds. As time passes, John and Savannah are only able to see one another sporadically. John's deployment overseas is extended, and Savannah's life back home continues on. As the world becomes a more complicated place, Savannah is constantly worried about John's safety, and John is torn between his dedication to his work and his desire for a life at home with Savannah. Against steadily increasing tension between their desires and their responsibilities, the couple struggles to keep their commitment firm. But when unexpected tragedy strikes back home, John's return provokes an emotional confrontation, and the couple is forced to discover whether their love can truly survive.