Format: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN: 9780751543001
Pages: 352
Price: 350 INR

The next time you leave a bookstore thinking Nicholas Sparks’ books to be overly-sappy; think twice. ‘Safe Haven‘ is a refreshingly, off-base Sparks’ book which keeps the reader engaged right until the end of the journey. The book is not a counterpole to his usual style of writing, based on the quintessential boy-meets-girl love story; however, the underlying presence of an element of mystery coupled with candy-coated romance makes the book “worth it.”

Safe Haven‘ takes the readers far-far away to Southport, a small town near Cape Fear, south of Wilmington, NC where Alex Wheatley, a widower with two children meets the enigmatic, charming singleton Katie, a waitress. She has an aura of covertness which appeals to Alex in an inexplicable way and draws his attention every time she visits his grocery store. As the story unfolds, Alex and his kids grow extremely fond of “Ms. Katie” (as the kids address her) and vice versa. However, the undying silence about Katie’s past keeps the story full of suspense. Moreover, Katie’s closest friend/shrink-cum-neighbor Jo is an eccentric, free-spirited artist who has no fear in life. Jo’s undeterred interest in her love life and her unchallengeable knowledge on Alex’s family life is both a cause of attachment and irritation for Katie.

However, the story takes a sharp turn; Katie opens up about her tragic past to Alex and he accepts her with all the baggage that she brings along with her. As the story paces along, the revelation about Jo’s character is incredulously shocking; an eye opener which leaves Katie in a tizzy. Personally, what I loved the most about this book is the title of the book “Safe Haven” which is not suggestive of anything particular. The title has an open, subjective interpretation, as “Safe Haven” could perhaps be the arms of the man you love, for some or your hometown or any place in this world for that matter; where you feel loved, secured and you can be yourself.

On an emotional level, Sparks has tried to keep the story, very minimalistic. It’s an easy read which doesn’t require the reader to put his mind, body and soul into the book. However, the entire plot is woven is in a much more complex way than usual which is commendable. This book is sure to be a hit not only with his legion of fans but with any and everyone who is capable of dealing with emotions maturely and isn’t skeptical of the whole idea of love at its contemporary best. Safe Haven is definitely NOT a girl’s-bookshelf-material only. It is a MUST read for all those who wish to give Sparks’ a chance to add spark to their lives.

P.S. ‘Safe Haven‘, the movie adaptation of the novel of the same name starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel which is releasing on the 8th of February, 2013.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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