Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks is the story of Katie, an abused wife who changes her identity and flees her husband from Boston to the small town of Southport. Katie makes a low-key living as a waitress, but despite her efforts to remain aloof from the townsfolk, her petite beauty, shy manner and mysterious background soon has all of Southport interested. A series of events also soon has Katie involved in two reluctant relationships; one with her mysterious neighbour Jo, and one with kind, single father Alex. Despite her reservations, Katie finds herself settling in and calling Southport home.
|Josh Duhamel (Alex) and Julianne Hough (Katie) on the movie set of Safe Haven|
Alex knows that Katie wants to be left to her own devices, but something about the wounded look that sometimes comes into her eyes makes it impossible for him to keep his distance. When his kids become fond of Katie they start spending more time together, and slowly but surely the real Katie emerges; a kind, fun-loving, sweet woman who wants nothing more than to love and be loved. A happy future might be in the cards for them after all.
|Kristen, Alex and Katie|
But Katie left behind a vengeful alcoholic husband who will do anything to bring her back to the prison she left behind. With a secret stash of money steadily growing, ready to disappear to the next town at the drop of a hat should Kevin track her down, can Katie truly give her heart to Alex knowing she can never marry him, and that she can definitely not promise forever? Can she build a life with him and his kids, knowing that she would have to look over her shoulder for the rest of her life?
|David Lyons as Kevin|
At first I found it a tad unrealistic that Katie would fall for another man so hard only about four months after leaving an abusive bully of a husband who knocked her around for four years. Realistically I just thought that it would take a lot longer for an abused woman to open her heart up to another man after years of abuse from a man she initially trusted; but the more I read and the more I thought about it, I believe this part of the story is a testament to Katie’s character. It goes to show just how sweet and trusting she is, and how desperate she is for love and affection. I think it also says a lot about Alex that Katie immediately realises he’s a good, solid man she can trust and depend on.
|Alex and Katie|
I found both Katie and Alex to be charming characters, and I enjoyed sharing this journey with them. Nicholas Sparks did an amazing job of describing the life of an abused wife – it always amazes me how good he is at writing female characters. Usually I can’t relate to female characters created by male authors, because there is just so much about being a woman that they miss. Sparks goes through a lot of trouble to ensure his female characters are realistic and relatable; and as for the male characters, he never fails to give us the perfect hero to save the day.
Safe Haven is a sweet book about new beginnings, and I look forward to seeing the film version starring Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough to be released February 2013. I can perfectly picture the two of them in these roles – great casting!
All photos in this post were taken during filming and are available on the Safe Haven Movie page on Facebook.
Title: Safe Haven
Title: Safe Haven
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Number of pages: 368
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing