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

Updated on April 10, 2011

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!


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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