By Nicholas Sparks
Grand Central Publishing
Okay, so maybe I have a little secret crush on Nicholas Sparks (I do keep reading his books, after all). But this one was a little bit of a departure from his typical lighthearted love story.
The main character, Erin, has escaped her abusive cop husband and is hiding as Katie in a small town far, far away from her previously life. Katie works as a waitress and keeps to herself, until she meets a widower named Alex, and a new neighbor named Jo. Katie opens up a bit to Jo, and then Alex and his two children become friends with Katie. She eventually lets her guard down enough to consider the possibility of that friendship becoming more. As Sparks develops those relationships, the story flashes back periodically to her abusive marriage and the intricate planning she had to go through in order to escape. It also focuses on her husband, Kevin, who has never stopped looking for her and is spiralling deeper and deeper into an alcohol-induced psychosis.
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