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I didn’t even write a thoughts entry in my reading journal for How to Walk Away by Katherine Center. This book ran into me like a 747 late for take off. Even as I type this, I don’t know what to say that will come close to describing the magnitude of the story you’ll find here. But I will do my best.
How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
If you’ve read Things You Save in a Fire, this story is about the just engaged woman Cassie saves from the plane crash. Yeah, that woman. Margaret is terrified of flying and is pressured into going up in the plane by her boyfriend who proposes to her and then crashes the plane they are in.
Way to go, bro.
But while the plane crash seems like the end for Margaret, it’s actually just her beginning.
Margaret is a Type A personality, newly graduated from business school with an exciting job prospect on the horizon. Her boyfriend, Chip, is the American All-Star. The crisp, ironed chinos and polo shirt, the fancy sports car, and all the right, maple syrupy-y moves. He’s everything.
I instantly disliked him.
But you’re supposed to. That’s how it works in these things.
But Margaret is a character I connected with almost immediately. She has the loving but critical mom, crazy family dynamics of an estranged sister, and the hope! The hope of a bright future and endless tomorrow. Can’t everyone relate to such hope?
Ian is our brooding, Scottish hero. Do I need to say anything else?
I will because I want to, and it’s my blog.
Ian was a character I could never wrap my hands around. When you think brooding Scot, you think a romance novel hero. But he wasn’t. When you expected him to be kind and loving, he was harsh and demanding. When you expected him to save the day for Margaret, he left to get lunch.
It was bloody feckin’ brilliant.
Margaret earned every single step of her victory. Ian just gave her the tools to do it.
About the Story
I don’t think this story had a single saggy part. Not even that bit under the arms you can hide in a good sweater. It was all tight, and it all moved.
The story was propelled by the complex characters Margaret encounters from the trapped sphere of her rehab bed. Her mother, her estranged sister who suddenly reappears in her life, and of all people, Chip’s mother!
(Surprise: Chip dumps her immediately following the accident and the realization of the carnage he caused, but you totally see this coming.)
The characters were never dull, never flat, and constantly surprised you. The fact that Margaret was trapped in her bed was just the butter on the warm tortilla that was this book.
As you might have guessed I don’t read books about dogs. (I cried during the trailer for the new Scoob movie.) So I like to point out potential trigger issues for readers.
In How to Walk Away by Katherine Center, you will find:
- Trauma (Plane crash)
- Trauma (Recovery from a devastating accident)
I want to stress the trauma part because one thing I love about Center is she does her homework. So when I say trauma, I mean TRAUMA. Written in messy, black permanent marker smeared all over the page like a bad menstrual period. So if you’re at all sensitive to trauma, prepare yourself. (But don’t skip this book because of that. There’s so much more to this story you shouldn’t miss!)
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I asked my friend what books were like this one, and her reply was, “Ugh. I don’t even know.” I think that sums this one up nicely. Go read this book, and then come back here so we can talk about it.
Have You Read How To Walk Away by Katherine Center?
If so, tell us what you thought of it in the comments, but please – no spoilers!