Ever since I started on this book journey, I’ve been hearing about so much buzz about Katherine Center’s How to Walk Away (and her much-anticipated summer release, Things You Save in a Fire—which I will be reviewing in coming weeks), that I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I honestly went into it with zero knowledge of plot, writing style or even genre, really, so I was open to many possibilities.
Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment.
In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there’s her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there’s Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won’t let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.
As I mentioned above, I didn’t know what I was getting into when I dove into this book—and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. I will be honest in saying that I kept putting off reading this because I was prepared for a really sad, psychologically complex downer of a story, but boy was I mistaken. Though it deals with some pretty heavy subject matter at times, this was cute and funny and a much more uplifting read than I was anticipating.
The main plot is a little predictable, though the secondary stories were pleasantly surprising. You’ll end up loving the Jacobsen women, despite most of them being… a lot… at the beginning. I mean all that to say that if you start reading and think you either don’t like the characters or that you know where the plot is going, to push through and give it a try anyway—it will probably surprise you.
“Needing to find reasons to live had forced me to build a life worth living. I would never say the accident was a good thing. I would never, ever claim that everything happens for a reason. Like all tragedies, it was senseless. But I knew one thing for sure: The greater our capacity for sorrow becomes, the greater our capacity for joy.” —Katherine Center, How to Walk Away
Thank you to Marc Schaefer on Unsplash for the featured photo of the ambulance.