Safe Haven Review
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A novel about spousal abuse can only be written in so many ways before it starts sounding like something you’ve already read. The characters, location, and circumstances may change, but it’s still the same story. However, that doesn’t mean that the ending can’t change—and Nicholas Sparks’s Safe Haven has an unexpected endings, making the same old story well worth reading once more.

On a bitter, cold day with snow still on the ground, Katie makes her escape. In terror, she flees to the small North Carolina town of Southport, hoping to hide among the quiet, simplicity of a minute community. Still, she keeps to herself and avoids questions about her past, never getting too close to anyone. It’s imperative that her identity remains hidden—her life depends on it. Then Jo, a single woman, moves in next door and starts poking at her past. Will Katie have to run again so soon?

When Alex’s wife dies of a brain tumor, he finds himself alone, struggling to raise two kids and run a small country store. His life revolves around both, with little room for anything else. As soon as Katie walks into his store, he knows she’s running from something—something that keeps her on the verge of tears and in constant fear. Yet he’s strangely drawn to her, and he hopes that she’ll eventually be able to trust him enough to accept his help.

Katie is such a strong but fragile character that your heart will go out to her. You’ll admire her for finding the strength to escape to a better life. No matter how hard it is to start over, she hangs in there. She never gives up hope for a brighter future—and to one day be free of the fear that haunts her every day.

Alex is what every man should be—kind and considerate, with the instinct to know what a person needs and the ability to make it happen. He loves beyond himself, and it shows both in the way that he takes care of his children and in the way that he helps a complete stranger like Katie.

Though Safe Haven is nothing new (and it kept reminding me of the Julia Roberts movie Sleeping with the Enemy). But due to Nicholas Sparks’s smooth style, I still read through the night to see how it would end. Even though Sparks is known for his maverick conclusions, I was still pleasantly surprised and even a little bit chilled. So if you read Safe Haven for no other reason, read it for the ending. You’ll be glad you did.

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