Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies! This week I read Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks. Each Christmas, our daughters and I enjoy watching movies, and Safe Haven was a favorite. Shanley Belle checked-out the book from the library, and I checked it out, too, upon her recommendation.
Erin is married to a monster named Kevin. Kevin is a police detective in Boston, and he has a history of mentally and physically abusing her. She lives in a virtual prison, and she never knows what will trigger his harassment and abuse. Erin finds her chance to escape when Kevin must travel to another town to appear as a witness in a high-profile case. She cuts her blonde hair and dyes it brown before catching a bus to Philadelphia. She waits tables at a couple of restaurants because she needs the money, but she quickly moves on because she recognizes Kevin's car: He knows she's in Philly! Eventually she ends-up in the sleepy coastal town of Southport, North Carolina. She now goes by Katie.
Katie is in survival mode. She's hungry, she's lost weight, and she wants to simply find a job and live frugally so she can save half her wages in case she needs to run again. She is too broken and scared to form any relationships or friendships in her new town. Her plans are thwarted when buying supplies in the local country store, she meets the store's proprietor, Alex. They slowly begin a friendship and eventually admit they're attracted to each other. Alex is a widower with two young children: Josh who's six and Kristen who's five. Katie is great with the kids, and she enjoys spending time with the little family. Katie is reluctant to let down her guard, but with the encouragement of her neighbor and friend Jo, she opens her heart to the possibility of joining this sweet family. The only problem is that she's still married to a monster, and she's scared that his superior detective skills will lead him to Southport.
I love this book. It is the first Nicholas Sparks book I've ever read, and from what I understand most of them have unhappy endings (hence the reason I don't read them). However, this one does have a happy ending, and I like how Sparks tells the story about the marriage from hell in flashbacks woven throughout the novel. The scenes containing the spousal abuse are tough to read (I almost had to book the book down a couple of times). The story is told from both Katie and Kevin's points of view, and Kevin's depraved justification for his actions are truly chilling sections to read, so consider yourself forewarned!
On a side note, the movie is a lovely adaptation of the book. Here is the trailer:
Safe Haven stars Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough
What have you read lately? This is a link party!
Until next time…