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How to Walk Away: A Novel Hardcover – May 15, 2018
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Praise for How to Walk Away:
An instant New York Times bestseller (May 2018)!
"A marvelous example of acceptance and healing and a celebration of family." ―USA Today
"Center explores the limits of hope and love...[she] transforms the story of a family tragedy into a heartfelt guide to living the fullest life possible." ―Publisher's Weekly
"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 (starred review)
“Inspiring and romantic… A touching and truthful novel that shows how people can find comfort in the most unexpected places.” ―Library Journal
"A story about survival that is heartbreakingly honest and wryly funny, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Elizabeth Berg." ―Kirkus
"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
About the Author
#1 NYT Bestselling Author Emily Giffin describes Katherine's writing as "warm, witty, and wonderfully observed . . . reads like an intimate conversation with your best friend."
The Dallas Morning news says, "Reading a book by Katherine Center is like having a long lunch conversation with an old friend you haven't seen for a while -- familiar, cozy and satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way."
#1 NYT Bestselling Author Brené Brown says: "Katherine Center writes about falling down, growing up, and finding love like nobody else."
Katherine's other novels include: The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, The Lost Husband, and Happiness for Beginners.
Her books and essays have appeared in InStyle, Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, and others, as well as several anthologies.
Instant Pictures recently optioned movie rights for The Lost Husband, which People calls "A sweet tale about creating the family you need."
Katherine's books have been featured at Target and Costco, BookPage named her a new writer to watch, the Houston Press named her a Top Ten writer in the city. Her novels have been published all around the world. She's won a number of awards for her work, including the Girls, Inc. Strong, Smart & Bold Award, the Rose State President's Distinguished Author Award, and the Vassar College Fiction Prize.
Katherine is also a speaker on the power of stories.
She lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her husband, two kids, and their fluffy-but-fierce dog.
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How to Walk Away by Katherine Center tells the story of Margaret’s rise and fall after a tragic accident leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew: her friends, her family, and most of all, herself. As she scrambles to pick through the wreckage that is her former life, she struggles to rebuild the confidence and vibrancy that she once embodied.
There’s a saying that it is in tragedy that we find out what we’re really made of – what we can and can’t handle. Usually, it’s meant to infer that we are stronger than we think, and that with the right attitude and enough grit, we can overcome anything. But Margaret isn’t so sure and fluctuates between an optimistic worldview where all returns to normal and the heartbreaking realization that there are some things you just can’t come back from.
Complicating matters are the very people she depends on – her mother who refuses to accept the facts, her estranged sister and her inconvenient timing for seeking forgiveness, and her dream man, who, despite his best efforts, is woefully inadequate in dealing with what happened to Margaret. Anyone who has experienced tragedy knows firsthand that people respond in different ways, but Margaret is stuck on her hospital bed bearing witness to it all.
And so, Margaret is left, more or less, on her own, finding solace in the most unexpected places and relying on strangers for their brutal honesty. Sometimes, though, it is when we lose something that we find something – the question is whether what Margaret is seeking is possible, or if she even knows what it is she is seeking.
How To Walk Away is fast paced and written in a conversational tone that the reader can breeze through in just a few sittings (in my case, it was two), making it the perfect weekend read. It’s as if the reader is inside Margaret’s head, bearing witness to her every thought and action for better or for worse. Center does an excellent job of putting the reader in her shoes, and although I cannot imagine being in her situation, I could empathize with her. In other words, she is completely relatable even though she’s in an impossible situation.
I’ve never read Center before, but a quick Google search shows that she has authored many books and is quite popular. If this book is indication, then I can see why. How to Walk Away is, for lack of a better phrase, hard to walk away from and Margaret will stay with me for a long time.
Normally a chapter a day is my habit. But, I zipped right through "How to Walk Away" and enjoyed every minute -- full of real life struggles, disappointments, and pure joy. Next I read "Happiness for Beginners" in two days and it was just as good or better. Half way through the "Bright Side of Disaster" promises to be just as good.
Thank you Katherine.
It’s about personal weaknesses and strengths and what really matters in life. Makes you remember that perfect is not always good or right.
And while the MC went through something devastating and had to learn to live again and be happy she did it with determination!
The one part of the story that was a real draw for me and kept me hooked is the dynamic between family members. This is just a great "turn life around", feel good story and I would highly recommend it to anyone! I will definitely check out the authors other works.
"You have to find the inspiration in struggle, and pull joy out of hardship."
Top international reviews
An accident throws away what Margaret thought she knew about what she wanted and who she was. Painful, poignant but full of hope, How to Walk Away is a stunning and emotional testimony of how find happiness in places you never thought you’d find yourself in. With her own issues, a crazy family (aren’t they all??) and a sexy but taciturn Scottish physiotherapist, Margaret finds her true self, and disovers new horizons. This book moved me in ways I wasn’t expecting, and I cannot recommend it enough. No sugar-coating here, but a true and raw testimony of the shock, the pain, and the little moments of life that lift you up despite everything. This novel is inspiring, fun (yep!), moving, and full of life.
Katherine Center’s writing is down-to-earth, authentic just like her characters, and beautifully hopeful.
I was so invested in this story. I’m glad I became a part of Books and Jams reading group. This was the monthly pick by book tuber Krista. I loved it.
It brought out every emotion you could ever think of feeling.
It’s good that this didn’t have quite the ending you would be rooting for. Not in a nasty way, but realistic human life events way. Not everything is tied up in ribbons and bows......yet......the ending was just as fulfilling as any great climax of events.
All of these characters lived inside my head for as long as I read it, and, I’m sure beyond time. A book with a punch, a book with meaning and certainly a book full of hope.
Just once in a while you get a book that gives you all of the tingles.
I’m certainly going to send for her other book lots rave about.
Some think for such a tragic thing that’s happened the author has made certain aspects too jovial.
My dad lost his leg, it was amputated after a tragic accident. Over 30 years ago now! And it WAS tragic and life changing for us all. The medics said he needed support and positivity. Each of us had a role to play. He reached suicidal point as this character does in the story. She gave herself a year.
Within a year things change, people change, circumstances change and the disabled person minds change along with those whose also had to adapt around them. What I’m saying is, doom and gloom helped no one. The IMMEDIATE effect is doom, it’s gloom, it’s the pits. But sooner or later you learn life goes on, but in a different way. Like traffic being diverted, the person and family and friends go down the diverted path of life.
I thought the author showed a good positive side to this.
So I hope no one minds....
I thought I’d share our experience with you
Written in the first person from page 1 I really took to Margaret, loved the style of writing, the humour, interplay with Kit.
The journey Margaret/Maggie takes due to one decision that leads to a life changing occurence is told with humour and compassion, it felt believable and was totally engaging. Couldn't put down until i finished, and was left with a warm glow.
Will now look for more from this author.
I’ve read all Katherine Center’s books now, and loved all of them.