Sparks scores again with ‘Safe Haven’

Erica Siciliano

The New York Times best-selling author Nicholas Sparks returns with another instant classic, “Safe Haven.” As Sparks’ 16th novel, he once again captures the hearts of readers in this instant love story about learning when it’s OK to let your guard down and that everyone deserves a second chance.

Set in rural Southport, N.C., Sparks introduces the reader to Katie, a beautiful young woman with a dark past who is looking to start a new life in this quiet but nosy town.  As she starts her new life, Katie slowly begins to lose her fear of her past coming back. As she begins to consider Southport a more permanent home, she begins two new relationships. The first is with her neighbor, Jo, a single middle-aged outspoken woman who listens to and befriends the reluctant Katie.  Katie also begins a new relationship with Alex, a widowed father of two who runs the local general store. As the relationship between Katie and Alex progresses, so does the fear that her happy ending will be ruined by her past.

The novel sets itself up with a classic Sparks plot. Two unexpected people fall madly in love; however, “Safe Haven” takes the romance to another level.  The story unfolds mainly with the attention on Katie’s new life, but as the story progresses, one learns that the life Katie left behind hasn’t forgotten about her. Sparks also displays the delicate relationship between Katie and Alex’s children. Sparks displays how the children’s relationship forms with Katie while dealing with the issue of keeping alive the small memories they have of their deceased mother.

As the author of well-known love stories “A Walk to Remember,” “The Notebook,” and “Three Weeks with my Brother,” it’s clear that Sparks knows how to construct a love story filled with conflict, mystery and the belief that everyone deserves a fresh start — no matter how dark their past.