When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
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.
Katie is a beautiful young woman with a secret past. She has escaped to Southport, North Carolina, and is starting over again. In Southport, Katie makes a couple of new friends: Alex, a widowed father of two, and Jo, her next door neighbor. As these relationships blossom, more and more of Katie’s past is revealed, especially as she becomes more attached to Alex and his children. With the help of Alex, his children, and Jo, Katie begins to let her guard down and live a more carefree life, slowly letting go of her past, until her past finally catches up with her. I think Nicholas Sparks has done a wonderful job with this book, getting just the right amount of romance and suspense.
-- by Morgan C.