Book Review: Safe Haven

Nicholas SparksSafe Haven didn’t make me cry like his previous, but it gave me the creeps. The book is someone a silent advocacy to stop marital abuse. Safe Haven touched the sensitive and most controversial marital issue of domestic violence that is existing all over the world and in various households. The whole book reminded me of the poem, I Got Flowers Today. It almost became a mantra inside my head.

The battered-wife syndrome that ties a woman to an abusive husband who beats her to death and robs her off of her self-esteem. He made sure for her to know that it is her fault she is suffering his beatings, not his. In the end, he would offer an apology and acts as if nothing happened. What kind of man would do that to his wife? Certainly not a man who respects and loves the woman he married.

Erin/Katie depicts the kind of woman who suffers from the above-mentioned syndrome in the beginning of the story, but she chose to escape the cycle. The courage she found was admirable. She carefully planned her escape, made sure that her husband (who is a very good detective by the way) would not trace her. She saved every scrape of money she could lay her hands on and managed to  stay strong until she found the right time to run. She never looked back.

Kevin, on the other hand, pretended everything was okay back at home. He did not tell anyone that his wife left him. He kept on drinking and blame everything to Erin. Nicholas Sparks described the husband so vividly that it reminds me of the list of ‘husbands who most likely hits his wife’ back in college. He is successful in his business, great with his wife in front of people, would not allow his wife to have a driver’s license or mingle with friends, would not allow his wife to talk to men and would hit his wife in areas that can be covered with clothes.

She assumed a different name and lived peacefully as someone else. She also found herself a new love, namely Alex who had been good to her and also suffered from grief (since he lost his wife due to an illness and left him with two adorable kids).

But their so-called happiness didn’t last long when Kevin (the husband) found out where Erin was and haunted her. This is my favorite part! It had me glued to the pages, anticipating and getting nervous at the same time. Kevin’s ride to find Erin was heart-pounding. You can feel the anger burning in his veins, and if you can just call Erin to tell her to run as far as she could or even warn her, you would’ve done so because it just seemed to real.

Kevin found her, and of course, he wanted her back at any cost. He burnt the store and even smashed Alex’s head. But since he was delirious due to vodka intoxication, the heroine found a way to finish him off. Finally she was free! Great, right?

The last part of the story was the letter from Carly (Alex’s deceased wife — yes, it is so Nicholas Sparks to write letters!). You can look forward to this one as well. Because I think writing letters that can break or make your heart is Spark’s forte.

I love this book because it will (if not yet) encourage women to stand and fight, escape the marriage that could cost them their lives. There is more to this world than the hell that they are experiencing. As to breaking vows, the husband broke their vows first because they hit their wives. You are just doing the right thing by leaving him, and starting a new life. Finding a man who deserves you and would not lay a finger to hurt you. Safe Haven allows women who had been through domestic violence to gain insight and make the right choice of walking away.

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