November 2010

A dark love story from Nicholas Sparks

By Nicholas Sparks
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What’s it about?
A guarded, mysterious woman named Katie arrives in the small, sleepy town of Southport, North Carolina, with a big secret. She lives by herself in a little cabin outside of town, and walks to and from her job at Ivan’s, the local restaurant. We know she is running from something, and despite the efforts of her co-workers and other townspeople, she is reluctant to make any real connections with the people around her. Of course that all changes when she develops a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two adorable children, and Jo, the plucky single woman who lives next door. But can Katie escape the pain of her past—which may be following her to Southport—and find love again? If you know Nicholas Sparks, you probably know the answer, but you’ll be surprised by the twists and turns Safe Haven has to offer.

Bestseller formula:
Gorgeous southern setting + beautiful woman with a mysterious past + slow-burning love story

Favorite lines:
It was a small historic town of a few thousand people, located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, right where it met the Intracoastal. It was a place with sidewalks and shade trees and flowers that bloomed in the sandy soil. Spanish moss hung from the tree branches, while kudzu climbed the wizened trunks. . . . Crickets and frogs sounded in the evening, and [Katie] thought again that this place had felt right, even from the beginning. It felt safe, as if it had somehow been beckoning to her all along, promising sanctuary.

Worth the hype?
If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan—definitely. Safe Haven has all the trademarks of his beloved novels: a love story, secrets in spades and deep friendships. But Safe Haven is darker than some of Sparks’ other novels, and there is an element of suspense that should surprise—and entertain—readers. If you haven’t read Nicholas Sparks before, you might want to start with a classic like The Notebook, but you will find much to savor in Safe Haven.

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Safe Haven

Safe Haven

By Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central
ISBN 9780446547598

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