After managing to escape an abusive marriage, Katie sets down temporary roots in the small town of Sourthport, North Carolina. She works at the local watering hole, Ivan’s, and keeps to herself. The arrival of a pretty, young woman in the small town does raise some questions, but she keeps to herself and lives in a small cabin on the outskirts of town. Never letting anyone know the fear that has her putting her tips into a jar under her deck, or why she ended up in Southport in the beginning.
As much as she attempts to keep to herself, she eventually begins to make some friends. Her neighbor, Jo, who’s renting the cabin beside hers, and a widower, Alex, who owns the local store and has two children. As much as Katie tries to keep her distance from both, her relationships with Jo and Alex encourage her to let her guard down little by little and to slowly make roots in Southport.
But, this doesn’t stop the fact that she knows that her husband, Kevin, is on the search for her. Throughout the novel, Sparks opts to allow readers into the mind of Kevin during a few chapters. These insights prove what Katie has told Alex and Jo about him, and that he is borderline insane and abusive. When Katie left him, Kevin turned to alcohol more than he normally did and was eventually suspended from his job as a Detective. He spends that time going after Katie after he got a new lead from an unlikely source, and almost succeeds in killing her.
In the end, Katie realizes who she truly loves and that she deserves a love that doesn’t ask anything of her. She find she Safe Haven with Alex, and with the love that he offers her.
I find that Sparks’ romances are the only ones that I thoroughly enjoy, as the romance is present but there’s still so much story to also enjoy. His characters fight for the love that they have, and for the people they have in their life. I’m looking forward to watching the movie based on this novel, as The Notebook is among my favourite romance movies.