Published by St. Martin's Press on May 15, 2018
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Margaret Jacobson’s life was nearly perfect. In her late 20’s, she was set to start her dream job and enter into the next phase of her relationship with a man she adored. But despite her years of hard work and doing everything she was supposed to, it took only a few chaotic minutes to throw it all into disarray.
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 by @katherinecenter begs the questions: How much is too much to bear? Click To Tweet
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.
Recommended for: Readers seeking a light approach to a heavy topic.