by: Nicholas Sparks
When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, a quiet small town where you can relax perfectly during weekends, 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. At first, she was shy but 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 and she began to trust them.
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.
She told Jo and Alex about her past, about how she had been hurt by her husband and how many times she tried to escape but ended returning to where they live. Because of the times that she tried to leave him, he didn’t allow him to go out and talk to neighbors, to go shopping and salon alone and most of all she’s not allowed to have money, call someone, or even have a friend until she had a chance to escape and ended up here at Southport. She had a tough time escaping and she told Alex that her true name was Erin; she told him that she’d change her name and her hair color so that her husband, Kevin, who was a detective wouldn’t find her.
But as she drew closer to Alex and his children, she was scared what will happen in the future. Until Kevin found her because of Karen Feldman, the daughter of their neighbor Feldman’s which is very close to Erin; he had a feeling that Erin stole the identity of Feldman’s younger daughter named Katie and escape. He traced where she was and saw her and Alex getting along together and swore to himself that he would kill them all. He’ll kill Erin (Katie) even though he loved her so much. He search for her everywhere and felt sorry for what he’d done to her but convince himself that it was also the fault of his wife. At the end, Kevin died and Jo was revealed to be a died person, the wife of Alex, after Katie knew that she was happy to encountered her. Alex gave Katie a letter which was made by his late wife and it says in the letter that Jo entrusted his husband and children to Katie and wished them a happy and wonderful life.
- Katie Feldman (Erin) – the main character of the story. Her real name was Erin and she was the wife of Kevin. She’s beautiful, kind, and has a good heart but was so scared of the past that haunts her, the named Katie was from Feldman’s family daughter whose died a long time ago
- Kevin Tierney – Katie’s husband who constantly hits her. He used to say words of God, a good detective, and a drunker.
- Alex Wheatley – owner of the old-fashioned country store, has two children and husband of Carly and soon get attached to Katie. A retired CID (Criminal Investigation Division) detective or military.
- Carly Jo – Alex’s died wife; good, beautiful, lovable, and kind mother and wife. Died because of brain tumor
- Josh Wheatley – Alex and Carly’s son who loves fishing
- Kristen Wheatley – Alex and Carly’s daughter who loves doll and really like Katie
- Jo – Katie’s neighbor and friend in Southport but actually the ghost of Carly, a good adviser
- Ivan Smith – owner of the restaurant called Ivan’s where Katie works
- Melody- co-worker of Katie at Ivan’s, a waitress and who likes to gossip
- Ricky- a chef at Ivan’s, co-worker of Katie who has interest in her
- Big Dave – a chef also at Ivan’s and a co-worker of Katie whose fond of making nicknames
- Joyce – an old woman who help Alex manage the store and takes care of his children when his gone
- Roger – a man who works at the grill in Alex’s store
- Coeffey – a cop who works with Kevin
- Ramirez – a cop who also works with Kevin and always talks to Coeffey
- Bill – Kevin’s boss who admire Kevin’s skills
- Terry Canton- Kevin’s old partner that had a heart attack and decided to retired
- Todd – Kevin’s new partner
- Amber – a girl that Kevin met at a bar
- Larry Feldman – old man and a neighbor of Erin (Katie) and Kevin, husband of Gladys, and someone who Erin (Katie) became friend with
- Gladys Feldman – old woman, wife of Larry that died because of a disease
- Katie Feldman – daughter of Gladys and Larry who died a long time ago and resemble Erin so much not just physically but emotionally
- Karen Feldman – daughter also of Gladys and Larry who once talk to Kevin asking where Erin is and the one who told him about her sister Katie that gave Kevin an instinct or a clue of Erin’s whereabout
- Rachel – Katie’s (Erin) hair stylist
The setting of the story is in Southport, North Carolina. It is a small quiet town where people can relax and have fun especially during weekends. It made the story more exciting because it is where Katie (Erin) went to start over.
New words learned:
- anomaly /əˈnɒməli/ (uh–nom–uh-lee)
– a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form
– odd, peculiar, abnormal, strange, inconsistency
- austere /ɔˈstɪər/ (aw-steer)
– severe or strict in discipline
– serious, grave, uncompromising, forbidding
- fathom /ˈfæðəm/ (fath–uhm)
– to penetrate to the truth, understand, comprehend
– a unit of length equal to six feet
– to determine the depth
- scrutiny /ˈskrutni/ (skroot-n-ee)
– a close, careful examination, investigation
- resilient /rɪˈzɪlyənt, -ˈzɪliənt/ (ri-zil-yuhnt, –zil-ee-uhnt)
– springing back, rebounding
– the ability to recover readily
– capable of returning to an original shape or position
The main idea of the book is that love is an inevitable feeling, sometimes it can hurt us but at the same time it give us happiness. It is a feeling where we can feel safe. A feeling that sometimes can make us crazy and do things that we think impossible for us to do. Love heals our heart and helps us to cope up and face a new beginning. It also give us strength that can help us in our lives. It is an important element in a family for them to have a understanding and good relationship with each of the family. It is also an element that helps us trust other people.
Lessons I’ve learned:
- We should have courage to face our problems
- No one can live alone, we all need someone we can rely on
- It takes time to know and trust someone
- Not all marriage leads to a happy ending
- Love is a magical gift from God that no one can explain
- Love is the center of family
- “Love doesn’t mean anything if you’re not willing to make a commitment, and you have to think not only about what you want, but about what he wants. Not just now, but in the future.”
- “I’ve come to believe that in everyone’s life, there’s one undeniable moment of change, a set of circumstances that suddenly alters everything.”
- “That’s what courage is. If she weren’t scared, she wouldn’t need courage in the first place.” -Jo”
- “Maybe I don’t want to be defined by what I do. Maybe I’d like to be defined by what I am.”
- “I’m not sure anyone’s life turns out exactly the way they imagine. All we can do is to try to make the best of it. Even when it seems impossible.”
- “Love can sometimes achieve the impossible”
For me, the best scene is when all the problems were solved and when Katie arrived at her house and start finding Jo but she didn’t found any trace of her or any trace that she had a neighbor. And when she finished reading Carly’s letter for her and found out that she’s also the Jo that became her neighbor.
I love that scene because you can see how Carly love Alex that she even guide him to find someone she can trust to love him and their kids with all of her heart. She even became a friend to Katie. She did that even she’s already gone in this world.
I also like the climax of the story where Kevin found her and when Kevin sets fire to Alex’s house. You can really feel the intense, suspense, and action.
For me, its Carly Jo, wife of Alex because like I had said you can see how Carly love Alex that she even guide him to find someone she can trust to love him and their kids with all of her heart. She even became a friend to Katie. She did that even she’s already gone in this world.
Actually, this is the first book I have read that was written by Nicholas Sparks. We had our LRR for English and we need to read a novel that can be found in out library. I was finding the book I’d love to read “A Matter of Choice” but I didn’t found it. Instead, I saw this book and I remember my friend in high school telling me to one of the books written by Nicholas Sparks entitled ” The Best of Me”, that’s why I thought maybe this book will be a great one. I’m not mistaken, I read and read and read until I finished it. This was a wonderful novel. I hope you can also read it.
So, yeah almost everything here is my answer to my LRR.
If I could continue the story, would I change something?
If I were given a chance to continue the story, I would end it with a wedding scene because I want to show the readers a clear ending wherein, Alex and Katie (Erin) will be united us one and they will live happily.
Want to know more?
Actually, next year 2013, the film of this book will come out.
8 February 2013 (USA)
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October 28, 2012