A book review: SAFE HAVEN

Ok so hello guys! You know, long holidays are kinda boring. One of those days where you gaze dreamily in the hot afternoons lazing around doing nothing, unless I’m out, of course. But the perfect way I like to spend my holiday is..with a book! I got my hands on a couple of popular vouchers, and so I purchased the book SAFE HAVEN, considering I missed the movie in Feb (sigh) The original story is by nicholas sparks. You guys know him right- famous author.

** SPOILER ALERT **

So anyway, this book was about a girl named Katie who moved to Southport. Nobody ever knew where she was from, or what landed her there. There was something mysterious about her, something she deliberately wanted to hide. Until later in the story it was discovered that her real name was Erin and she was actually fleeing from her abusive and seemingly insane husband, who’s a police. She got to know this guy named Alex, who slowly helped her through tough times and before Katie realises, both of them fell in love and become increasingly attached to one another. However, trouble strikes when Kevin, Katie’s husband, found her hideout. As Katie was pondering between a life with Alex or to flee, she learns that love is truly the safe haven.

 

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This novel is in a large part about safety and trust and how we often take these two things for granted. After reading this, it makes me think differently about my life and the things I value. I mean, we can obviously see how frightened Katie was when Kevin hit her.(just reading it makes me cringe)And how desperate Katie was at that point in time that she’ll almost resort to anything for safety. Only then we lose these things then we value them. Why? Trust is the tricky part. Katie used to love Kevin and trusted him, but the trust slowly turned into insecurity. With love comes trust. But sometimes its rare to find mutual trust, between lovers, friends, parents, whatever. Without trust it leads to doubt, then hatred, then conflicts, especially if one is maligned. It requires great courage to trust a person and I admire Katie for her bravery. She trusted Alex and told him everything even though Alex could like…tell everyone about it…..?(but he didnt of course)

 

Katie’s discovery at the end of the novel makes the whole plot and everything look twisted. It was believable, but unexpected. Totally. I mean, her neighbour Jo seemed so real, always advising her on r/s with Alex and stuff, but I guess……Nicholas sparks wanted us to see Jo from Katie’s make believe point of view. Jo seemed real to Katie, and so he described Jo from Katie’s perspective. Jo once said to Katie “I tell people things they are too afraid to admit.” In Katie’s heart, she loved Alex. Just that she was afraid of facing reality for her mind tells her that if she does, she may have to be prepared to implicate Alex, or prepared to face a risker life of Kevin finding him. Jo implies that she should listen to her heart. Jo actually represents Katie’s inner thoughts, and it is also revealed that Jo is Alex’s deceased wife. And if that’s the case, that explains why Jo is so concerned about Alex, and wants Katie to be happy with him, and she always made sure Katie is capable for giving Alex and the kids a promising r/s.

 

Another theme this book brings is domestic abuse. It gives me a new view on this issue and how scary it is. Last time, I always thought men that abuses their wives are tyrants. But not necessarily. But well, Kevin was more of a bipolar, treating Katie well in one moment, then flaring up a few seconds later. Then he reverts back to as if nothing happened…? It makes me wonder he’s kind of a two faced, eccentric, always forgetting his promise to Katie, or remembered it but doesn’t even care. And Kevin puts on an act in front of people, which reminds us(a clue to tell us) that he is actually in the right mind and knowing what he is doing. Just that he chooses to hit Erin. Katie was right for running away. I think all wives that are victims should stand up against domestic abuse like Katie, and not suffer in silence. Tell someone, call the police, run away, whatever. At least do something. Domestic abuse is something dark. Its not so easy to flee from it once you allow it to start(eg. Katie giving Kevin too many chances)

 

Sorry reflection getting too long. But you don’t have to read if you don’t want to–its for my personal tracking okay!! 🙂

 

The author basically chooses to write a portion of the book from Kevin’s perspective. After reading that, I think the author’s intention was to give the readers a more all rounded view of the issue/problem. By this, we’re like a mediator, analysing two sides of the story and not just blaming Kevin so rashly. Most of Kevin’s perspective describes Kevin’s angry, rash, sad and most of all doubtful thoughts. He always suspected and blamed Katie for having another man, scheming and plotting and stealing against him. When all Katie did was to protect herself. I don’t have any sympathy for Kevin because all he did was to blame others, never reflecting on what he’d done to make Katie run away.

 

Katie’s past puts Alex and his children in potential danger. Do I think Alex is irresponsible to involve himself with a woman that could endanger him and his children? Actually I don’t think so. But it really depends how Alex views it. If Alex really loves Katie and view her as part of a family, then there’s nothing to be calculative of. Be it or not, a family is supposed to stick together through thick and thin. Love comes with a price. This is a fact. It is just selfish to not be with Katie because she may bring danger to his family. Besides, it is a pity to forsake love just because of this. Alex been with Katie not because he couldn’t care about his children’s safety, but because he’s ready to sacrifice for love and a future with Katie and this shows how much he trust Katie. He believes that they will overcome it together and instead of worrying about Kevin bringing harm to him and his children, he even added that he will protect Katie.

 

Ever since Alex’s wife passed on, I guess the children needs a mum. Its just human instinct to crave for a motherly love, even how good Alex was as a dad(no doubt), they will still need a mum to make that love complete. When Alex sees how attached his children is to Katie(esp Kristen), he realizes how much Katie can do to love and help the kids in their growth. Katie shares his love for his kids and perhaps that’s what attracted him.

 

Is it possible to truly put the past behind you? Alex says to Katie: “Everyone has a past-but that’s just it, its in the past. You can learn from it, but you can’t change it.” Depends on the definition “put the past behind you”. If it means to forget, then quite impossible. But if it means to disregard it and continue with life, it is hard, but possible. I believe love can make a change in Katie’s life. What we can do is just to accept that everyone have a past and that’s normal.

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