Noah Calhoun Initial narrator and protagonist; Noah falls in love with Allie the summer after graduating from high school, and even though they go their separate ways, he never stops loving her. When she unexpectedly re-enters his life, he discovers she is engaged. Although he longs for Allie to stay and tells her that, he knows that loving someone sometimes means letting them go.
Allison Nelson (Allie) As a young woman she falls in love with Noah, a boy beneath her family's social class; when Allie per chance sees a newspaper article about Noah restoring a house, she needs to return to see her summer love, even though she is engaged to another. Allie falls in love all over again and then must make a decision between the two men that she loves, and although she does not want to hurt either one, inevitably, she will.
Lon Hammond, Jr. Allie's fiancé; Lon is a good lawyer from a good family who will provide a good life for Allie. When he realizes that Allie is seeking out Noah, he drops everything to be with her, demonstrating for the first time that he is able to put her ahead of his career.
Fin and Sarah High school friends of Noah; they introduce Noah and Allie the summer after Noah graduates from high school.
Morris Goldman Noah's boss at the scrap yard; it's Morris's gift to Noah that enables Noah to purchase the house that he is restoring.
Gus Noah's best friend and neighbor in 1946 New Bern. Gus is the one who identifies Allie as the "ghost" of Noah's past.
Anne Nelson Allie's mother; she does not approve of Allie's relationship with Noah. She is also the one who keeps Noah's letters to her daughter a secret when they arrive; she neither reads nor destroys them, but she eventually gives them to Allie when she arrives to inform Allie that Lon is on his way to New Bern.
Dr. Barnwell The doctor at the Creekside Extended Care Facility
Janice The night on-duty nurse at Creekside; Janice enables Noah to slip into Allie's room, even though she is not supposed to permit it, on the day of their 49th wedding anniversary.