by Nicholas Sparks
New York: Hachette Book Group, 2010
I indulged in some leisure reading this past week and savored every word of Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks, author of such best-sellers as "The Notebook," "Dear John," and "The Last Song." I have read almost all of his books and enjoyed every one of them. Some are definitely better than others, however, and Safe Haven is Sparks at his finest. It is a well-told story about a young woman, Katie, attempting to start over after escaping from her abusive husband. His skillful handling of the difficult topic of domestic abuse is to be commended.
As with all Sparks' stories, this is a love story. Despite all her intentions not to, Katie begins to fall for a local storekeeper, Alex, and his two young children. Alex is a widower who has been hesitant to give his heart away as well. Katie's neighbor and friend Jo encourages her to pursue their relationship, but cautions her not to break his heart. Katie and Alex cautiously fall in love, but their road to happy ever after is haunted by Katie's past. The ending of this book is the best part. I won't spoil it, but it literally gave me chills.
This is a quick-read, which is a blessing, because you won't want to put this book down until you reach the very last word. If you are a Sparks' fan, you simply must read this book.