Aug 24, 2011

Book Warning: Safe Haven

I finished Safe Haven right before heading to Seattle. And I'll warn you now, I'm gonna be a spoiler. But I have to somewhat spoil it to get to the warning part.

Safe Haven by Nicolas Sparks starts strong. It's the story of Katie, an abused wife from Dorchester who runs away from her mean, nasty, alcoholic husband. She lands in a sleepy North Carolina town where despite putting up her guard, eventually makes friends with her neighbor, Jo, and the local grocery store owner and widower with two kids, Alex. Katie and Alex hit it off and eventually begin dating. Jo is incredibly nosy about the whole situation but in a girl-talk kinda way.

Everything is hunky-dory until Katie's husband picks up on her scent (he's a detective when he's not wife beating) and drives down to North Carolina to take her back. He almost succeeds too, burning down Alex's house where Katie is baby-sitting. Katie and the kids escape and eventually a hand-to-hand combat with Katie and Alex (who has returned) and ex-husband ensues. Katie gets his gun and it goes off in the struggle, killing the crazy drunk ex.

Fortunately for Alex, not only are the kids and Katie fine, but his fireproof safe with birth certificates and a few tokens from his late wife, Carly, is also intact. After the fire he's more committed to Katie than ever and gives him the letter Carly wrote for "the woman [her] husband loves."

So far so good. Some cheese of course but nothing other than what you would expect from a Nicolas Sparks book. I was actually really enjoying it. And then it did a nosedive.

Katie sits on her front porch and glances over at Jo's cottage which looks unusually abandoned, especially since Jo had been doing work on it lately. Confused but dismissive, Katie start's to read Carly's letter which quickly says "My name is Carly but for most my life my friends called me Jo." At which point Katie goes Sixth Sense style thinking about untouched glasses of wine Jo had, etc before coming to the conclusion that know what it is. Jo was the ghost of Carly, come back to guide Katie to Alex and the kids.

Gag me with a spoon. Are you kidding? Nic (olas Sparks) couldn't we have just ended with this nice cheesy letter and an engagement ring? Why did we have to go down the ghost of wives past route? It's like when One Life to Live started bringing people back from the dead. Just terrible.

Verdict: If you read it, don't bother with the last two chapters.

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