Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
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 only the second of Nicholas Sparks books that I have read. I’m more of his movie watcher than his book reader. A lot of them I didn’t even realize that they were his books.
When Hollywood puts out movies based on books I instantly want to read that book before the movie comes out. Hollywood rarely does a book justice and they claim it’s because things that happen in a book don’t translate well on the screen. I think it’s just lazy on Hollywood’s part. If my brain can imagine it then it can be translated into film.
I’m back from my Hollywood rant. I discovered Safe Haven was being made into a movie from the On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel are starring in the movie adaptation. I researched the movie people were critical of the casting.
After reading it, most of the comments on imdb were overly critical if not downright comical. Having only read and watched The Lucky One, Safe Haven reads in the same general tone. I knew something was off with Jo but I never saw that twist coming, which is the role Cobie Smulders is playing which is also the tipping point that made me want to read it.
Nicholas Sparks definitely captured the North Carolina state of mind, in one quote. I read it to my mother, a North Carolina native, and it even made her laugh. It has the same general flow as The Lucky One. It’s an easy uncomplicated if not overly simplified read.
Based on the movies and the two books, I do think Sparks has a formula that works for him. I knew what to expect and got what I expected. You quickly know who’s good and who’s bad. I would just one like to see what would happen if the story didn’t always have a happy ending; the choose your own adventure version (You really don’t see them anymore).
I give Safe Haven 3 out 5.