Read this no spoilers review of the romantic and comedic novel How To Walk Away by Katherine Center. A well written and poignant novel about the many ways we can (and do) walk away. A fast-paced page turner that also makes us reflect on our own lives- prepare to devour this book in one sitting!
How I Found The Novel “How To Walk Away”
I recently had the amazing opportunity to attend the Mom 2.0 Conference in Pasadena– a blogging conference aimed a connecting bloggers to each other and to brands that work with influencer. It was a whirlwind of networking and learning- including watching Kristen Bell film spots for the Ellen show, listening to Brené Brown and Debbie Allen share their personal stories, and meeting Taye Diggs (oh yes I did!)
However, one of my favorite parts of the conference was listening to Katherine Center speak about the power of storytelling. As bloggers, we rely on our own personal stories to connect with our readers, and Katherine’s perspective as a professional storyteller, writer and mom was so inspiring. She’s a GREAT public speaker (and I would argue could start a second career as a stand up comedian!) My favorite thing she said is “stories are empathy machines”- which is a much more eloquent way to state the thoughts I was having while reading Green by Sam Graham-Felsen (affiliate)- review coming soon.
So when I had the opportunity to meet Ms. Center in the hallway of the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, I was thrilled. I’m an avid avid avid reader, and have been since I learned to read. Books for me are not only an escape from reality, but also a way for me to see the world through the eyes of characters that I might not ever have the chance to meet or learn about in real life. She gifted me and advance copy of her newest novel How To Walk Away, available on May 15th, (affiliate). I devoured the book it in one sitting on the airplane home- and loved it. I wrote a quick review on Goodreads too- if we aren’t friends over there, I want to be!!
A well written and poignant novel about the many ways we can (and do) walk away. A page turner that ties up all the ends neatly- which I loved. Prepare to read in one sitting- like I did!
How To Walk Away Book Review
How To Walk Away is a page turner- the prose is delightful and easy to devour. Often, books in the genre of “romantic novels” are superficial- we read them to escape and then move on. The protagonists can be one dimensional, the romantic interest larger than life and perfect- the books are often a bit forgettable (albeit fun! I’ve read thousands.)
Katherine Center’s novel How To Walk Away completely flips the romance novel script. The protagonist Margaret Jacobsen is a fully modern, two dimensional character who is not only relatable, she’s a smart, resilient, modern woman. While the plot literally races to the very last page, I found myself stopping to re-read delicious passages on body image, heritage and relationships. These beautiful and reflective lines gave me pause- making it so easy as a reader to connect to the universal narratives of love, shame, and hope that run through Margaret’s head. Four of my favorite quotes:
- “I knew that it was like to hate parts of my own body- what woman doesn’t? You “hate” that little bump of fat behind your knee, or that pointy little pinkie tow that doesn’t match the others, or that one crooked tooth. Anything about you that insists on being flawed despite all your attempts to get yourself perfectly uncriticizable is fair game or hostility.”
- “We could recite our various heritages in that way that lots of Americans can. Our mom had a little bit of lots of places. Irish, English, German, Canadian, French, and even, rumor had it, some Huron.”
- “At the same time, it was a declaration of independence. My whole life, I’d turned to my mother for instructions on what to do, and where to go, and how to get it done… She’d always interpreted my life. Though, to be fair, I’d always let her.”
- “I have a theory that we are at our meanest when we feel threatened. People really seem to do their worst when they think you’re out to hurt them, or steal from them, or take something that’s rightfully theirs.”
AmIRight? Not a typical romance novel!!! How To Walk Away is the perfect read- fun and thoughtful to the very last page. Ready to download a sample on Amazon? (affiliate)
About Katherine Center
Katherine Center is the author of six novels about love and family, including The Bright Side of Disaster, The Lost Husband, Happiness for Beginners—and the upcoming How to Walk Away. Her work has appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, InStyle, and Real Simple. She is a graduate of Vassar College and the University of Houston’s Creative Writing Program. Katherine lives in Houston with her husband and two sweet children. (Text from www.katherinecenter.com)
About How To Walk Away
“Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, 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 one tumultuous moment.
In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.
How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.” (Text from www.katherinecenter.com)
How To Walk Away is on sale May 15- you can preorder your copy now (affiliate link). I highly recommend that you do!