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Monday, October 28, 2013

Safe Haven

Nicholas Sparks
352 Pages
Grand Central Publishing, September 14th 2010 (ebook)

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

Safe Haven is the third novel by Nicholas Sparks that I have read. I have read A Walk to Remember and Dear John. The thing that encourages me to read them is the movies. This also applied to the last one. I watched Safe Haven months ago and re-watched it if I have free time. I really love the movie, especially the idea of starting over. By reading the novel, I hope I can get a deeper story that the movie cannot showed. Let’s review it now ;)

Katie moved to Southport with nothing but hunger. For months, she saves some money from her work as a waiter in Ivan’s and now her life is better. She owns a small cottage and can buy several pieces of clothes. But she still keeps a space for everybody. She never goes out to anybody that asked her to date. The only person she talks to is her one and only neighbor, Jo. Jo is very kind and patient with her. Once, she asks Katie’s behavior. She seems to understand with Katie’s answer and never ask it again. But she put Alex, a widower that own the store, on Katie’s radar. Katie finds that Alex is very attractive. His two kids are also adorable and very kind. Then, she is lower her guard and tell him a bit about her past that she’s married and her husband, Kevin, is searching her.

"Everyone has a past, but that's just it-it's in the past. You can learn from it, you can't change it."

Safe Haven was typical Nicholas Sparks’ writing. Predictable (of course, I watched the movie a dozen times) but still great and touched. I like, no I love it! As I said before, I love the idea of starting over. I wish I could do the same thing, left the complicated things behind and start a new life. But the character in this novel did that because she had to. How big is my problem compare to hers? I think I just kinda stress :p Beside that, the novel also picks the issue of violence in married. I think that is really good ;)

Oddly, I found myself very interested in Kevin’s character, not Katie or Alex. I do not know the reason why. Maybe Alex is too kind (and that’s boring) or an antagonistic character is always interesting. I think I just like how this character thinks and feels. The description of his thought really caught my attention. By the way, he is really good at finding a person and think like them. Sadly, he could not realize what is wrong with himself. Then I get the idea what causes his crazy behavior.

If we compare the novel and the movie, the story is kinda similar. In the movie, they just do not explain details like early married life of Katie with her husband. But I didn’t find any canoeing thing in this book. Yeah, they made it up then. 

At last, Safe Haven is safe choice for you who wants to read a story that sweet, romantic but still wants a little twist. Yeah, there’s a twist in this story and I didn’t see it coming. Before or after reading this, you should watch the movie too. Recommended!

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