But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her... a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards... and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.
This story blew me away! Be prepared to be taken on an emotional rollercoaster with this novel. It is definitely worth the ride…
Katie moves into a small town in the middle of nowhere desperate to escape her past. After years of abuse by her villainous husband Kevin, she has finally scrounged away enough money to escape when the opportunity presents itself for her to run. The characters in this novel are intense and realistic adding a vitality to the novel that will sink in and make you forget that you are reading. Kevin is expertly developed to be very believable, and very scary. A functioning police officer and model religious citizen on the outside, his at home behavior is just as deplorable as his upstanding citizen pretense is believable.
Katie is scared and anxious as she establishes herself in a new seaside town determined to start a new life where Kevin will never be able to find her. As she begins to settle in, she quickly bonds with a friendly neighbor Jo and begins to meet people in the small quaint North Carolina town. A handsome man at the local store, Alex, catches her eye and her heart with his kindness. Slowly she begins to wonder if she can learn to trust again.
After Alex’s wife died from cancer, he’s committed himself fulltime to raising their two young children and managing the local store in the community. Busy with work and his family, he hasn’t dated at all since his wife’s death. When he notices a beautiful shy new woman in town something about her intrigues him and he realizes it may finally be time to try again for some love in his life. What develops is a beautiful romance between two people with painful pasts whose growing love begins to mend them both.
But Kevin is determined to find his wife and punish her for leaving him. As he becomes more unstable in his rage over her leaving, the danger for Katie and those she cares for grows and grows. Will Katie and Alex’s love be strong enough to make it through Katie’s troubled past? Or has bringing Alex into her life now put him and his kids straight into the line of danger? When the past catches up with her, will they survive or will they pay the ultimate price for their love – their lives?
Nicholas Sparks’ writing is amazing in its gripping intensity, plot twists, and ability to pull the reader into the story. The detail is incredible and it’s impossible not to feel for the characters as the book progresses. It’s a beautiful, romantic, tragic and haunting novel that I already wish I could read again for the first time.
Rebecca Lowman does an outstanding job as narrator. She expertly portrays all the characters and is able to adapt as the tone of the novel changes. From a shy, insecure Katie to a rage crazed Kevin to the soft voice of Alex’s children, Rebecca flawlessly narrates this novel with a beautiful and heartfelt storytelling ability.
NARRATED BY: REBECCA LOWMAN
LENGTH: 11 HRS AND 4 MINUTES
RELEASE DATE: 09/14/2010
PUBLISHER: HACHETTE AUDIO