Monday, October 1, 2018

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

Reviewed by Ambrea

Margaret Jacobsen is looking forward to the future.  She just landed her dream job, she’s certain her longtime boyfriend, Chip, will propose to her this weekend, and she’s on the precipice of having a picture-perfect life that’s just right for her.  Then, suddenly, everything is snatched away in one horrible plane wreck that leaves Margaret paralyzed and faced with a future that’s nothing like she anticipated—and everything she might have ever needed.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center is an absolutely wonderful novel.  I picked it up when it came across the desk as a return and, because it was by the author of Happiness for Beginners, I quickly checked it out and took it home—and I fell in love.  How to Walk Away has everything I’m want in a romance novel:  likable characters, real conflict, family, human foibles, humor, and, of course, love.

Although I will be the first to admit How to Walk Away can be sappy, I still loved every single page.  I enjoyed watching the relationship develop between Iain and Margaret; I liked the reunion between Maggie and her sister, Cat, even if it was painful at first; and I loved seeing how Maggie manages to look her drastically changed life and decides that picture-perfect is not necessarily for her.  I found it heartwarming and heart-wrenching by turns and, overall, intensely enjoyable.

While the plot was a little predictable—as soon as Maggie steps into the plane, I know exactly how her life will exactly change and I have this gut instinct that Chip isn’t going to be around much longer—I didn’t mind.  The humorous relationship between Cat and Maggie, the budding friendship and, eventually, love between Ian and Maggie is completely worth it; moreover, I like being able to see Maggie’s growth as a character as she re-evaluates her life and realizes her own worth, recognizes her own desires as important.

Honestly, I just can’t say enough good things about this book and this author.

When I listened to Happiness for Beginners as an audiobook, I pegged it as one of my favorites from 2016.  This year, I’m happily adding How to Walk Away to my list of favorites for 2018.  (It’s right up there with Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series, and Jason Aaron’s run of The Mighty Thor.)

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