What Are The Best Books To Read? Safe Haven By Nicholas Sparks

Best Read: Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

One of my favorite authors is Nicholas Sparks. I own every book that he's ever written and I cherish each and every one.

While I do love Sparks' gift of writing, though, I always pick up his newest book with a little bit of fear because I hate to admit it  - I'm a happy ending type of girl.

Nicholas Sparks keeps me wondering with every book if it'll be a happy ending or a sad ending. But that's a great element for a writer to possess in his or her arsenal.

With those thoughts in mind, as I usually do with Sparks' books, I was one of the first to have my copy of Safe Haven in hand. And as usual, I was captivated from the very beginning.

Why Nicholas Sparks Gets It Right

In this story, as in all of his books, Sparks holds your attention because of these essential elements:

  • Believable characters
  • Pertinent and timely subjects
  • Combination of love story and drama
  • Sprinkling of faith or karma

The plot for Safe Haven actually reminded me of the old Julia Roberts movie Sleeping With the Enemy because it does deal with the same subject, that of an abusing spouse and the desperate measures someone has to go through to escape.

However, that said, even though there are some parallels between the two stories and they both are extremely suspenseful and enthralling as you watch the woman evolve into her own person (in Safe Haven, Katie), there are many differences between the two.

Part of the development of Katie's character centers around her ability to trust and begin to relive her life in a stable environment. Also her eventual realization of her need to have other people in her life who care about her.

The whole idea behind abuse of this kind is to make sure that the victim never believes they are worthy of love or positive emotions. The fact that Katie emerges from a potentially deadly situation and is able to open herself up to the world around her is a miracle and the read to watch her grow into her true self is a journey.

Of course, no Sparks novel would be the same without a romance and the leading man in the story is a good one!

The character of Alex is a wonderful soul mate/hero type and by the time you get to know him a little better, you've fallen for him, too. Who wouldn't? He's good looking but add to that the fact that he's widowed, has 2 very young children that he's parenting alone but is strikingly human and you just have to sit back and sigh.

Wouldn't he be the perfect man for our Katie?

As stories go, there is much for Katie to experience along her path of escaping a violent past and many lessons to learn about trust. Trusting herself and trusting others in her life leads her to many happy and many sad moments but all in all, the ride is worth it as you watch her turn into who she always should have been.

The Villain

No novel would be complete without a villain and Kevin Tierney is as evil as they come. Nicholas Sparks does a wonderful job of creating someone you can easily hate but at the same time, I found myself wondering what made him tick.

How did he become the person that he became and why? What started out as a fairy tale marriage turned into a nightmare of the greatest proportions and for a man with a bright future ahead of him, how did he descend into such abusive behaviors and alcoholism?

Just some of the many questions I asked myself as I read the book and even during all the conflicts I wished him to be 'healed' somehow.

His character was definitely evil but I kept wondering what would happen if he could be rehabilitated somehow!

Source

Safe Haven is a wonderful blend of characters. Also brought into the mix is Jo, the friend Katie meets when she is trying her hardest to stay off the radar in all things.

You also meet Alex's dead wife, Carly, through his memories of her and his 2 adorable children, Kristen and Josh, all the while sopping up the family values so prevalent in the South.

Sparks sprinkles in flashbacks to the past as you begin to understand why Katie has done what she's done and why she so desperately wants to start over and find happiness.

And when drama strikes, you won't be able to put the book down because you'll be on the edge of your seat to see what happens and if there can be a happy ending after all from such terrible pain and heartache.

Somehow he also manages to insert faith and magic into the equation and in doing so, think he hit all the marks.

Nicholas Sparks has another masterpiece. I caught myself wondering if this book, too will end up on film as the characters are totally believable and the situations definitely ones that we can all relate to in real life.

One thing is for certain, it's a must read. Once I got into the story, I couldn't put it down and buzzed through it in 2 days, much to my disappointment!  I know I've read a wonderful book when I sadly close the book and say goodbye to the characters.

It's a typical Nicholas Sparks novel alright - typically wonderful!

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

Journal of Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

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Comments 23 comments

Angela Dublin 5 years ago

I as an Author love reading books by Authors like Sparks, Johannson, Cussler, and Koontz. Life would be boring without their works.


ithabise profile image

ithabise 5 years ago from Winston-Salem, NC

Sparks is not only a good writer but a good person, I've discovered; and that attracts me to his books.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Great Susannah42 - I don't think you'll be disappointed!


susannah42 profile image

susannah42 5 years ago from Florida

I like Nicolas Sparks, will put this book on my list.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

EF - It's a great read and I couldn't put it down even though I had a kinda sorta feeling where it would end up but it totally surprised me. That is the mark of a great writer, too I think!

Carolina - It is a great choice - although a lot of guys think he writes 'chick lit' but oh well....I happen to be a chick so guess I'm easily entertained! Hope you do get a chance to read it and if you do....I'm impressed! But I'm impressed with you anyhow.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Thanks for the info.. sounds like a good choice!


erthfrend profile image

erthfrend 6 years ago from Florida

Im always looking for a good read that keeps me captivated! Ill have to check it out! Thanks for the info!


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

BJ - That is the only benefit probably of getting old(er), don't you think? Everything is a surprise - like when I turn to Bob in the morning and say 'yikes - who the hell are you and why are you in my bed? - oh yeah - we're married'....ha ha Seriously he is a great author and I kinda sorta like him because he has lived through some tough things including a handicapped child. Many of his books as I say are based on his life experiences - gotta love someone for that alone!

HH - Thanks and I hope you are not disappointed - I don't think you will be!!

Ken - The Wedding was my first book by him and I've snatched up every one since. It was just a delightful read with a very surprising twist. But I have to say, you'll get your 'doom' wish in a couple of his. They were excellent reads but had me crying and crying. He really weaves a wonderful tale and I guess that's why so many of his movies have hit the screen.

The Notebook was excellent; Nights in Rodanthe even made my husband cry; Dear John totally ticked me off but was excellent; and The Last Song was brilliant though that made me weep and weep. Let's not GO to Message in A Bottle.... If you want more tears/doom, check out The Guardian; A Bend In the Road and a Walk To Remember. Not ALL his books have happy endings and even the ones that do I guess are tolerable because there is such a good story behind it all.

All this said, y'all - I hope you're not disappointed!!


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I am keenly interested now in searching out this author and reading his latest book. He seems like my kind of author. I love suspense,drama and happy endings most of the time, although there is the dark side of me that is also attracted to doom endings:0)) great review and tribute to one of your favorite authors. You go gurl. lol I rate it UP...Bravo


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Audrey, you definitely convinced me. Will look out for it. Thanks for the good advice.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

What an intriguing review, ak! Now I'll have to add Sparks to my list which includes Lee Child at present.

I don't have too many authors on my list since I often enjoy rereading a book I've read before. Like someone else I know, the book still seems new the second time around.

Well, look at it this way. I'm saving money by buying fewer books and attending fewer films. Yep, it works with movies, too.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Dream on - Thanks for stopping in!

Alekhouse - Oh you have missed out as he is simply marvelous. I read The Wedding first and it has just stuck with me ever since. He is a wonderful writer - for a guy! ha ha He truly has many gifts to bring to the writing table, most of them based on personal experiences. Three Weeks With My Brother tells about his life and it is fascinating, sad, and uplifting all at the same time.

DeGreek - Oh my - as I said, he truly is a gift to writing. He has so many facets and a lot of his writing is based on personal experiences. Wonderful reads and wonderful movies!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Never heard of the guy myself. I have to look him up when I am finished with my current reading list :-)


alekhouse profile image

alekhouse 6 years ago from Louisville, Kentucky

Thanks for this hub, Audrey. I haven't read anything by Nicolas Sparks and I can see now I'm missing out. Sounds like a terrific writer.


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 6 years ago

It sounds good.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Hey Nell - I hear ya on Outlander - I hope I live to see the resolution of ALL those things left up in the air!!! Good grief. I of course may be becoming senile so maybe I can just keep reading her books over and over and pretend that they are hot off the presses!

Prasetio - he is a great writer. A lot of folks give him the 'chick lit' nod and I don't know why. He has lived an incredible life and all of his books have some element of life experience in them - or at least most of them do. I just love his writing and even better when his book turns up as a movie! He knows how to weave a yarn that's for sure.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

I love happy ending story. I thought Nicholas Spark is famous author. I never know about him before. Nice review.

Prasetio:)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, Audrey, I have never heard of him, but this sounds like the type of book that I would like, especially if it is like the film, I will definitely be checking it out, thanks for the idea, I am always looking for new authors, I am still waiting for the next Jamie and Claire book, Diana Gabaldon! I am suffering withdrawal syndrome! lol cheers nell


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

Thanks for stopping by FloBe - it was a great movie, eh? I have a feeling we'll be seeing Safe Haven on the big screen one of these days as well. It had all the elements of a great love story/drama/thriller. Yikes!

Katie - I had hoped to hold off and not finish it so I could snuggle up with it late this week because our weather is so cold and damp - but alas, I could not put it down! Darn....although I'm getting older so I guess eventually what will happen is that I'll be able to read it twice because I won't remember what it was about the first time...we can only hope and Bob will be so overjoyed to have saved money on books! ha ha Thanks for the read!


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

I'm in this sounds like a good read and the weather is perfect for snuggling up to a good book, with pages... Thanks :)


FloBe profile image

FloBe 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I also like Nicholas Sparks as a writer...I'm going to have to check out this latest one. You sparked (no pun intended) my interest when you compared it to "Sleeping with the Enemy"...an excellent movie with Julia Roberts.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon Author

I'm happy to do it RT - I love his writing even if there aren't always happy endings! Thanks for the read!!


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

Will definitely have to check out this author. He should send you a thank you note! :)

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