There are spoilers below:
Katie has recently moved to Southport and harbors a terrible secret. But her sudden arrival to the small town where nothing happens raises questions that Katie is not at all willing to answer. She is a beautiful, single woman who often withdraws into herself, hoping that she will be invisible to everyone she passes. But unforturnately, there are some people in Southport who are not going to let her become the invisible recluse she so wishes to be. This includes her friendly neighbor, Jo, and the handsome store owner, Alex and his two children.
Oh my. What can I say? This is the first Nicholas Sparks novel I have ever read, and it was absolutely amazing! In Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, you will find yourself thrust into a story about grief, suffering, love and trust that will leave your head spinning and your heart thundering.
Safe Haven gives a heartbreaking, realistic view into the life of a woman who was married to an abusive husband. The story was absolutely compelling, captivating me from the very first page. We get a glimpse into the struggles of a woman trying to open her heart again to be able to trust and love once more. But Katie discovers that it is harder than it sounds, especially when she suspects that, at any moment, her husband could discover where she is. But with the support of her friend Jo, Katie decides to take a leap and finds herself swiftly falling in love with Alex.
Nicholas Sparks did such an incredible job developing these characters and truly connecting us to the inner turmoil of Katie’s heart. There were a few sexual moments in the book, but it was nothing graphic. But if you are sensitive to such implications and have strong convictions, then they might bother you more than they bother others. However, considering the situations of these scenes, I was quite effectively repulsed by what was happening and I’m certain that was the way Nicholas Sparks intended it to be.
Katie’s relationship with Alex is slow and sweet. We watch her grow from a woman, looking over her shoulder, terrified of who could come around the corner to a strong, trusting woman who discovers that running from what she fears isn’t always the answer. Facing what she fears, and protecting the people she loves, is more important than trying to hide. Seeing things from Alex’s perspective is also interesting. He’s a quiet, gentle man who sniffs out what makes Katie so scared almost from the beginning. But he doesn’t abandon her, instead he sticks by her side and chooses to help protect her. Their love story was gentle and beautiful, the type of love story that makes people sigh.
Safe Haven guides us through a journey of finding trust and rediscovering love. Nicholas Sparks characters leapt off the pages. He created a villain in Kevin that had shivers rushing up and down my back. I have never read a book where a madman was so strongly portrayed. Alex was the perfect hero and Jo…well, to understand how one comes to feel about Jo, one has to read the book. Let’s just say that, by the end, you love her as much as Katie does and you never see what’s coming.
I stayed up until midnight to finish this book, and it was so worth it. By the end there were tears in my eyes. I hope they did a good job with the movie, because now I definitely want to see it!
Coming Soon: When her mother decides to send her to her dad’s home for the summer, Ronnie couldn’t be more displeased…but a handsome volleyball player, a girl named Blaze and her father’s unwavering love conspire to make it a summer she will never forget. Look for my review of The Last Song, by Nicholas Sparks, soon!!