is a 2010 novel by Nicholas Sparks
about a young woman named Katie who escapes her abusive ex-husband, Kevin, and relocates to a small South Carolina town, where she falls for Alex, a widowed father with two children. Trouble ensues as Kevin finds her there and plans on killing the two new lovebirds.
The book was made into a movie in 2013, directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel.
The novel and the film contain the following tropes:
- Abomination Accusation Attack: In a terrifying example, Kevin abuses his authority as a cop to declare Katie a suspect in first-degree murder, and send out a nationwide alert to police everywhere. When this is discovered, Kevin's boss immediately rips into him and suspends him from the force.
- The Alcoholic: Kevin.
- Always with You:
- Attack of the Town Festival: Katie's abusive ex stalks her through Southport's Fourth of July celebration
- Caught in the Rain: But of course. It's a Nicholas Sparks movie, isn't it?
- Dead All Along: One of the minor characters, Jo is actually this.
- Domestic Abuse: A significant theme in both works.
- Due to the Dead: Josh to his mom.
- The Ghost: In line with Dead All Along above and played straight, without suggestions of it being all in character's heads. It's Jo
- Kill It with Fire: The house is set on fire with gasoline from the jerry can.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After Alex tells Katie to leave town and never return, he has one of these.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: When the police chief realizes that Kevin has illegally declared Katie as a murder suspect, he immediately calls Kevin out and suspends him.
- Scenery Porn: Southport, North Carolina is gorgeous
- Shout-Out: An abused wife, fleeing her abusive husband on a bus in the middle of a rainstorm, having cut her hair to disguise her appearance? Sounds an awful lot like Sleeping With The Enemy, though it's possible this wasn't intentional.
- Spirit Advisor: Jo's ghost in question serves in this role.
- Third Act Misunderstanding: When Alex thinks Katie is a murderer and confronts it about, she doesn't attempt to explain herself and instead decides to run away from town, declaring she does not blame him for hating her.
- Villainous BSOD: Kevin steadily breaks down over the course of the story.
- Wham Shot: The picture of Alex's wife.