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Safe Haven
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on 8 December 2017
I have seen Safe Haven a few times: it’s one of my favourite rainy day, fireside, easy watching films. As an avid reader, I thought I should really read the book too.
I’m glad that I did as - like books usually do - it gave me more of an insight into the characters. There were differences, of course, but the general idea behind the story was the same.

I actually think I prefer the film, but I’m glad I read the book. I have never read a Nicholas Sparks novel before, and his style of writing is different to books which I normally read. He actually has a fairly simplistic and straight-forward style. Once I got used to it, it was quite endearing. I will probably end up reading another Sparks at some point, but it’s not top of my reading list.
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on 4 July 2016
I absolutely loved Safe Haven, it made me cry in places but surely that's the sign of a good book, yes?
This is Katie/Erin`s story. The story of a young woman who is brutally and regularly beaten by her husband who becomes more and more unstable as time goes on. It's the story of how she finally gets free of him and attempts to rebuild her life, of making new friendships and of finding new love. There is a wonderful little twist at the end (which is when I reached for my tissues) and it reaffirms my beliefs in love transcending time and space.
If you're already a fan of Nicholas Sparks (and this is the second book in a row that I`ve read and really enjoyed) which it seems I'm rapidly becoming, then I'm pretty sure this will not be a disappointment to you. If you're looking for something new and like (what is basically a "chick flick" in book form) a nice love story with a H.E.A. then I'd happily recommend Safe Haven.
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on 22 February 2017
This book really tugged at my heartstrings. It was an emotional fuelled book with so much to think about. Alex and Katie will always have a special place in my heart and Jo has made me believe that angels do exist and guides us to our next chapter in life. I have always loved Nicholas Sparks books and this book, will always be a favourite. It took place in Southport and Long Beach. I have been to these places for summer holidays. Renting a beach house for a week. It was a very good memory, then to read it as part of a Nicholas Sparks book, it was an emotional, full of love book to read. I will read it again and again. Thank you for the best book I have read in a very long time
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on 28 April 2014
When a mysterious woman, Katie arrives in the small town of Southport, things change. Not only for her but for the people she connects with. With the last of her money she rents a rundown cottage on the outskirts of town. She wants peace, a place to escape, and for her this seems the perfect spot. Afraid of the past coming for her, she distances herself from everyone around. Too scared to make any attachments, Katie finds a job and knuckles down into life at a slow pace.

Life always has a few surprises and Katie is noticed by the owner of a local store and widow, Alex. From his own background he knows life has been hard for her, even though she never says a word. As they draw closer, her past finds them and now not only is her life is in danger, but Alex and his children as well.

I have to admit that I picked up this book based on the film adaptation, which I enjoyed. It took me a little while to get use to Nicholas Sparks style of writing. It seemed very simplistic to me but once I got into the story I became lost. The detail at times was a little much, do I really need to know, that she washed her hair, moisturised, put on perfume and pulled out the hair dryer. Just had a shower would have been enough for me.

Reading from Kevin’s point of view fascinated me, especially as he began to lose his mind. There was a nice build up to the finish and a great fight between all concerned. I am not sure about the twist, I can’t make my mind up if it is necessary or not, but overall I enjoyed this read. It got me away from my normal genre which was a nice change.
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on 26 June 2013
Wow is all I can start to say! I have read a couple of books by Nicholas Sparks before but did not really enjoy them. This book however had me gripped from the beginning. I could not put this book down.

The story centres around Katie who has moved to a new town to escape her violent and abusive husband. Katie finds a small place to rent and even gets her self a job as a waitress in a local diner. She does not want to have a relationship or really a friendship with anyone - due to her horrible past. However she meets Alex. Alex is a single father of two children,after losing his wife. Alex has a local grocery store. Katie is scared of what the future holds because of her husband. Katie slowly starts letting her guard down and falling in love with Alex. But what Katie does not know is that her husband has managed to track her down and is watching her and planning on taking her back home with him.

You get a look into all of their lives and how they got to where they are now. You even see what Katie went through and how she had to plan her escape. The way the book has been written you can feel the pain and how frightened she was.

You have got the romance with this book but also danger thrown in and in works together nicely. Highly recommend this book.
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on 26 June 2014
Damn you Mr. SparkS. Everytime!!! < --- yes, 3 exclamation marks. EVERYTIME you get me when I think my Sparks-proof-vest won't allow you to tug at my heartstrings ANYMORE, but you win. I give up!

Yes, this was another beautiful journey that played with my female sensibilities, got me all a flustered, all snotty and made me crave those beautiful rainstorms. How come in my world rainstorms don't come with that kind of eye candy? Hmmmmm?

But in all seriousness, another well written, well thought out story. The fact that it's set in North Carolina had me sold from the get go.

So much joy, sadness, despair and hope, all in one book and one that I read in less than 6 hours.

Katie was the embodiment of courageousness, and I connected well with her. I empathised with her story and wanted to be beat the crap out of her obsessive husband. So yeah, you did the job Mr. Sparks, but I tell you something, one day, you and I, we're gonna have to talk. But until then you have my undivided attention.
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on 27 January 2011
As always, Nicholas Sparks has written a pageturner which is hard to put down.

"Safe Haven" is the story about Erin who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with an abusive husband. Her husband Kevin drinks too much, beats her, denies her friends and interests outside the home and keeps control of her every step by frequent phone calls througout the day.

After two failed attempts, Erin finally manages to flee Boston and Kevin. With a new identity, calling herself Katie, she starts over again in Southport, a small town in North Carolina, where she meets a young widower Alex and his two small children Kirsten and Josh.

Even if there is soon mutual attraction between Katie and Alex, Katie is too scarred from her marriage and needs time to heal before starting a new relationship. Also, there is the shadow of Kevin always looming in the background. Kevin is a police detective of profession and good at his job, especially at tracing lost people...

Katie/Erin's freedom is not easily won, even after she and Alex admit their love and mutual wish to stay together.

A romantic, but also serious book, about domestic abuse, widowhood and the task of bringing up children alone. Little Kirsten and her brother Josh are my favourite characters in this wonderful story about the strength of love, friendship and parenthood. Adorable little persons with amazing insight into life and people - trusting and open as only kids can be.

Praise for Nicholas Sparks and very much recommended!
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on 6 January 2017
Well, this is my first Nicholas Sparks, and frankly I'm staggered at his popularity. This is a real paint by numbers book, every cliche in the book, I was rolling my eyes all the way through. On the plus side, it was very PG, no profanity, nothing explicit, which I prefer. But that was the only plus. Black & Blue, by Anna Quinlen, is a much better telling of this story (although, alas, not PG!).
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on 21 November 2017
Nicholas Sparks writes with such sensitivity and portrays evil balanced by good. This book shows just how no one really knows what goes on behind closed doors and we should be ever mindful of those who perhaps are hiding deep hurt. A brilliantly written story which captures life as it sadly is for some.
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on 14 July 2014
Katie’s sudden arrival in the small town of Southport has the locals curious about why she’s come. She’s an attractive young woman, but has a past which she is trying to leave behind her. Katie doesn’t want to become involved with anyone, but a series of events make this unavoidable. Slowly she starts to put down roots in the close-knit community and starts to fall in love. But all the while she struggles with the dark secret – the reason she has fled here - that haunts her....

Once again Nicholas Sparks at his best. Couldn’t put this book down and finished it in one day.
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