Villians and Ghosts... and no, I'm not talking about the Bachelor

The book description:

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.

The review:

Any time you pick up a Nicholas Sparks book, there are elements of predictability. You know what I'm talking about. And regardless of knowing a little something about what's likely to happen in the end, I buy each and every one of his releases as soon as they are available. I enjoy his writing anyway.

But there were things I really didn't like about Safe Haven. First of all, the villain, Kevin, whom Katie is trying to hide from. I had a real problem with him. Well, you say, you aren't supposed to like the villain. I can handle having a villain, even if he is a drunk, wife-beating, sorry excuse for a human being. My problem with him is that he was always quoting the Bible to justify what an awful person he was. Of course, he was using his scripture out of context about situations he perceived to be true, but it really, really bugged me.

Now, Sparks' last book, The Last Song, had more Christian themes than any of his other books, and I thought it was really well done. I know Sparks' isn't anti-Christian, but I thought the way that he used this character's reciting of the Bible in Safe Haven could be taken that way. I thought that someone reading it would say, "yeah, look at those Christian hypocrites out there..." It bugged me. A lot.

The other thing I didn't like in the end was the neighbor, Jo. OK, remember my tease yesterday about the topic of ghosts. Yeah. I won't go further than that as to spoil all of the story.