Safe Haven written by Nicholas Sparks
Safe Haven is written by Nicholas Sparks, who is a well know author of well written love, romance and relationship stories that touches his readers hearts. Safe Haven does just that: It is the spellbinding story of a young woman who is running from a mysterious past while attempting to start a new life in a small town in North Carolina. Safe Haven also has elements of a thriller and suspense story that makes this book a real page turner. It is also the story of domestic abuse.
Katie is the main character of this book and her story unfolds slowly as the story switches from the present to the past. The story also switches between the main characters to give the reader insight into what is motivating each character. Katie, for instance, is revealed to be a victim of domestic abuse which she was lucky to escape.
Katie has just moved to the small town of South Port, North Carolina and has taken a job in a local diner as a waitress. She arrived in town by bus with very little money and just a small suitcase of personal belongings. With her limited money, Katie has managed to rent an old, run down cabin which is close enough for her to walk everywhere she needs to go.
Katie And Alex Begin
Katie is attempting to start life anew and she tries her best not to form any relationships and hopes that no one will even notice her. All Katie wants is to live quietly, simply and safe. However, her neighbor Jo is a friendly grief counselor and Katie finds herself enjoying having a friend. Katie also meets Alex, a widower with two small children, Josh and Kristen. Alex owns a small store near Katie's rented cabin which is close enough for her to walk to. Alex had never really thought of a new relationship until he befriends Katie because his daughter has also formed an attachment to Katie. Alex observes Katie and knows she is hiding something and by her actions and his previous training, he is almost certain she has been a victim of domestic abuse. Although Katie tries not to become involved Alex slowly begin to win her trust and build a solid friendship. Katie eventually begins to confide in Alex about her past. In time, the two begin to date and it doesn't take long before the relationship turns serious.
At times, then the story switches back to Kevin, the husband who has abused Katie and whom she managed to escape from. The story also goes into the abuse and Katie's escape. The author tells Kevin's version of the marriage, and shows Kevin's psychological instability as he deals with Katie having deserted him and his job as a policeman. Kevin has refused to admit to anyone that his wife has left him and is having trouble with his drinking and keeping his job. Kevin uses his resources as a police officer to try to locate Katie but has not had any luck with that. While drinking heavily, Kevin also quotes the Bible quite frequently. This is an interesting look at the other side of domestic abuse and mental illness.
Eventually, from an unexpected source, Kevin does find Katie's new identify and everything comes to a violent ending as Katie must fight desperately for the man and the children she has come to love more than anything. Katie has found her safe haven and will not give it up easily.
Some statics on domestic violence
Domestic abuse statics
Domestic abuse is any form of physical, emotional, controlling, sexual assault forced on another, male or female, by their partner against their will.
Domestic abuse statics:
- Every 9 seconds a woman in the USA is a victim of domestic abuse
- 1 in 4 women will experience some form of domestic abuse
- Domestic abuse is a major leading cause of injury to women
- 3 or more women are murdered every day by a husband/boyfriend
- Men whose fathers hit their mothers are twice as likely to abuse their partners