How to Walk Away: Book summary and reviews of How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

How to Walk Away

by Katherine Center

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center X
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
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Book Summary

From the author of Happiness for Beginners comes an unforgettable love story about finding joy even in the darkest of circumstances.

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.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best--a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious; truthful and wise; tender and brave.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. A story about survival that is heartbreakingly honest and wryly funny, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Elizabeth Berg." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. With its appealing characters and wisdom about grappling with life's challenges, Center's sixth novel has all the makings of a breakout hit." - Booklist

"Inspiring and romantic, this novel is similar to Jojo Moyes's Me Before You. The budding romance will draw readers in, but the relationships among the many other characters also make it memorable." - Library Journal

"Center transforms the story of a family tragedy into a heartfelt guide to living the fullest life possible." - Publishers Weekly

"A heartbreak of a novel that celebrates resilience and strength." - Jill Santopolo, bestselling author of The Light We Lost

"If you just read one book this year, read How to Walk Away." - Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop

"Warm, witty, and wonderfully observed." - Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love

"Sympathetic and refreshing!" - Elinor Lipman, bestselling author of The Family Man

"I can't think of a blurb good enough for this novel...poignant, funny, heartbreaking." - Jenny Lawson, bestselling author of Furiously Happy

This information about How to Walk Away was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Betty Taylor

Very Relatable Relationships
I will admit that this was a book that I did not want to like. Yes, that is right – I did not want to like it. It seemed to be pure romance – no mysteries, no murders, no other story line than pure romance. But it hooked me! That, to me, a sign of good writing. The characters drew me in. They entertained me. They made me feel such a variety of emotions. I pretty much knew how most of the story was going to go, but I still enjoyed the ride.

Life had been so perfect for Margaret. She was beautiful and had a handsome charming boyfriend who was soon to propose to her. She had landed her dream job. But then her life changed, and nothing would ever be the same again. Margaret now faces obstacles she has no idea how to contend with.
Beyond the romance, this book is about not giving up on yourself, or others. It is about your loved ones not letting you give up on yourself. It is about finding the strength in yourself to carry on. There is a quote I am sure will be popular from this book – it is quoted several times. “When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else.” Great advice when you are consumed with self-pity and/or overwhelmed. Get outside yourself and look at others. Sometimes this will help you forget – even if only for a moment- that others suffer too. Others also feel isolated and helpless. And sometimes when you aren’t looking Love finds you.

The dynamics of the relationships are very relatable. There’s the boyfriend who wallows in self-pity himself and can’t “man up”. It can’t be complete without the domineering mother who steamrolls her way through her daughters’ lives.

My favorite part of the book was the bond between Margaret and her sister Kitty. There had been a rift in the family and Kitty had had no contact with any of her family for the last three years. But she returns to be at Margaret’s side. Kitty is the kind of sister you want, you need, when you are at your lowest. No matter how dark things got Kitty could make Margaret laugh.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the advance copy of the book.

Sandi W.

family, love and relationships...
First, I must admit that I am not much of a romance reader. I do enjoy a cozy or fluff book from time to time, but prefer they are mystery related, not romance related. However, I will admit that I did enjoy Katherine Center's style - even though there was more romance in this book than I enjoy. I think she developed her characters well and had a sufficient story line.

My reason for reading this book was that I plan to read her next book Things You Save in a Fire for a group. Not having read Things You Save in a Fire yet, I assume that some of the same characters will carry over. I came across a 'bridging' short story between the two books and decided reading How To Walk Away was probably advantageous.

This novel says a lot about family, love and relationships. It centers on Maggie, who has lost the use of her legs in an accident - which leads to the loss of everything important in her life. As she spends a month in the hospital she renews her relationship with her sister, finds out scathing news about her mother, and suffers through a scowling, barely talking physical therapist. By the time she is ready to leave the hospital, Maggie is looking at life differently. Things appear brighter, but is it enough to build a life on?

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Author Information

Katherine Center

Katherine Center is the author of the upcoming novel, How to Walk Away. She writes bittersweet comic stories about how we fall down - and how we get back up. Her inspiring novels are always about how we struggle to find our way through life's hardships and learn to savor its joys at the same time.

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