Author : Sherry Helms
First published in September 2010 and translated into a feature film in 2013, Safe Haven is an epic love story by New York Times Bestselling author Nicholas Sparks. Known for his sappy romance novels, Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven has everything-drama, romance, mystery, suspense, pain, and tragedy that simply made this novel a joyful read.
Nicholas has written 17 novels; seven of them have been adapted into movies, which have brought in more than $650 million. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why Hollywood loves doing business with him. Safe Haven is his eighth novel that is recently made into a movie. He wrote this huge 365-page novel in a short frame of over 6 months and needless to say, he has done it brilliantly.
This is a wonderful love story, introducing us to a mysterious 27-year-old woman Katie Fieldman with a dark past, who has just rocked up to a small North Carolina town of Southport where she can just live life on her own terms, secure from all fears. Meek and gorgeous, Katie catches the eye of a widower named Alex- retired army officer and the owner of the biggest store in the Southport- and his two lovely kids. She also becomes friend with her outspoken neighbor, friend and supporter, Jo.
From the very starting of the story, it seems clear that Katie is skittish and hiding something and this dark secret preventing her from getting happy in the close-knit community. Despite her fears, she gradually realizes that the love is the only right safe haven in the darkest hours and therefore she starts to let down her guards and with time becomes more and more emotionally involved to Alex and his family. But even as Katie begins to fall in love, her dark secret still creeping up slowly and steadily to create havoc in their lives.
Although the beginning of the novel keeps steady pace yet towards the end of the book, everything starts to go by faster and faster. However, the author’s portrayal of the sudden mood swings and suspicious behavior of the main character- Katie- is terrific. Even all of the characters in Safe Haven are presented so well that by the end of the novel, the reader feels as though they have known them.
Slightly different from his earlier novels, which embrace the usual overdose of romance, Safe Haven is an interesting and skillfully plotted novel that eschews all of the normal love story formulas. Sparks expertly dealt with the two psychological maladies of domestic abuse and death very well that inspire both compassion and antipathy. The ending of the novel is quite tense yet exciting that makes you feel a part of the storyline.
Overall, Safe Haven is a fantastic novel that is well written, well organized and has a power to satisfy and hook the reader until the end.