Book #42: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
Hello All! This time I'm blogging about a book that I read a few years ago, but recently re-read as a refresher before the upcoming film is released. That's right, yet another Nicholas Sparks book turned movie is in production and set for release this February, right around Valentine's Day. The book is fairly new (2010), but in case you missed it or passed over it as yet another sappy Nicholas Sparks novel, take a second look. This novel differs from his others as it dips into a more suspenseful genre alongside the romance.
It centers around a young woman named Katie who has recently moved to a small town in North Carolina. She doesn't know anyone there, and doesn't volunteer much information about her past or personal life. She scrapes by, working double shifts at a local restaurant, and then goes home alone to the modest house she rents at the end of a road. No one really knows the shy woman's story, and she won't let anyone close enough to really get to know her.
The other main character is Alex, a widow with two young children. He runs the town store which sells everything from gas and snacks to travelers passing through, to groceries for the locals, to fishing rods and burgers hot off the grill. He's a charming, well-liked guy in the town, but still struggles with grief over his wife's early death and being a single dad.
Of course, as in all Nicholas Sparks novels, these two characters find their way to one another and, over time, begin to open up and find love that they didn't know they could have. But this novel goes deeper. We finally learn the truth about Katie and the dark secret that haunts her, why she is so guarded around people, where she came from, and why she left.
Of course I can't tell you the answers to these questions; you'll just have to read the book! But I will tell you that when I first read this book two years ago, it literally kept me up at night. Even when I was finally able to put it down and try to get to sleep, it haunted me. This novel reaches for a new level that Sparks usually does not attempt, and it is a success. As with all of his characters, you will fall in love with Katie and Alex and root for them against all odds, as they try to find love, faith and hope in this crazy, scary world.