Book Review: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Safe HavenWhat’s it about?

Love hurts. There is nothing as painful as heartbreak. But in order to learn to love again you must learn to trust again.

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet unassuming, Katie is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships.

Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community. But even as Katie starts to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts her . . .

My thoughts
I’d had a run of disappointing reads so I asked my daughter to pick my next read and she wanted me to read this so we could watch the movie together. I must confess that my initial reaction upon starting to read was something like here we go, just another run of the mill romantic boy meets down and out poor girl and it crossed my mind to leave it and read something else but I’m glad I didn’t.

It was quite a slow start but then chapter 17 turned it around for me, discovering Katie’s history, the story of the abuse, this made the book a lot darker than I expected. Her well thought out escape plan, her fear and anxiety all conveyed well.

I liked that once we’d learned Katie’s secret and the book went into a dual time format and dual narrator we hear more of Kevin’s story. His head is seriously messed up, the twistedness that he tried to justify with what he’d done and was doing was dark and disturbing and I found myself feeling a little sorry for him – that for me is a sign of a good writer; when they make you feel sorry for the bad guy!

I actually preferred the chapters which involved Katie’s escape and her husband’s pursuit to the love story which followed, that was a little predictable.

This book surpassed my expectations, I would have given it 5 stars but I wasn’t really into the twist at the end, I think that the book held its own without that, up until that point I had found it to be 100% believable and that brought it down in my opinion.

Overall a really good read about domestic violence and coming out the other side which reminded me of the movie Sleeping with the Enemy. Don’t be put off by the mushy looking cover, there’s a lot more story to it than you’d expect!

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