Review: 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.

I love Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read everything he’s written and couldn’t wait for my copy of Safe Haven to arrive.

Safe Haven had a different feel than many of Nicholas Sparks books. It was much less sappy than most of his books. Don’t get me wrong… I love sappy but this book was much deeper than many of his other books. It explored life in an abusive relationship and the struggle to escape and start over.

I felt a connection to the characters and never lost interest in the story. The audio narration was well done. The only thing that annoyed me was the whiny voice the narrator used for 5 year old Kristen. Fortunately she didn’t have many lines in the book.

This book played out in a predictable manner. Although one thing I have learned from reading Nicholas Sparks is that sometimes he is not predictable and he goes for the heart-break ending. This book did have an unpredictable element to the ending but thankfully it was a touching unpredictable and not a heart-breaking unpredictable.

Content: Just a couple of swear words. One of the characters in this book is psycho, I mean seriously crazy. We hear his demented crazy thought process and the details of some of the things he does are described. There are scenes of physical abuse described and a few sex scenes that aren’t overly graphic but are lewd. Although I can’t classify this book as clean it wasn’t nearly as graphic as it could have been. It was well written and I would recommend it to adults who have read this content warning.

Rating: 4 Stars. I made it through this book in less than 2 days. Some great writing from Nicholas Sparks.

Source: I received an audio version on this book from Hachette.