How to Walk Away by Katherine Center is about a young woman named Margaret who is in her 20s and looking forward to fulfilling her dreams. Margaret has a fresh MBA, a 3-story condo, and the promise of a lucrative job when her boyfriend, Chip, takes her for a flight in a private plane to propose to her. She's terrified of flying but gives in. When the flight ends in a crash and Margaret is both burned and paralyzed, her entire life is upended. Chip walked away without a scratch and she's been slotted with the least-talkative, meanest physical therapist, Ian.
While Chip avoids visiting, her family (including the sister who hasn't spoken to her for 3 years) rallies around her but not always in a positive way. Will Margaret ever walk again? Will Margaret and Chip survive the guilt on one side and pain on the other? Will Margaret's sister Kitty and their mother, who drove Kitty away, ever be able to resolve their differences?
How to Walk Away is a romance with plenty of meat on its bones. It takes a very serious subject, losing everything after a crash, and winds in slow destruction of certain hopes and dreams with a growing relationship. You know pretty early on some of what will happen and who Margaret will end up with because it's a romance and they're always obvious in that way. I personally found the direction it went immensely satisfying if a little cheesy, especially toward the end.
Highly recommended - I love the blend of humor and anguish, heartbreak and hope. My only problem with How to Walk Away was the fact that Margaret had bought a 3-story condo on the promise of a lucrative job. I know that can happen but it felt just a bit too far-fetched for a twenty-something who has just finished her MBA. I loved the emotional impact of Margaret losing her dreams; it felt truly realistic. Some days Margaret was OK and some days she thought about giving up. I know the emotional rollercoaster of health drama and appreciated how genuinely those emotions were portrayed. And, of course, I loved the slow-burn romance.
I've read 3 books by Katherine Center, now, and this one is one of my favorites. The other is Things You Save in a Fire. Here's my review of that one:
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