How to Walk Away

Katherine Center. St. Martin’s, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-14906-0
Center (Happiness for Beginners) explores the limits of hope and love in this bittersweet tale of a young woman suffering from a devastating injury who learns to care about others when she can’t figure out what to do for herself. The life lesson comes about after Maggie—about to start a dream job in Austin, Tex., and newly engaged—is paralyzed in a small plane crash. Her fiancé, Chip, who was the plane’s pilot, walks away unscathed, but is horrified by Maggie’s paralysis. Maggie begins a daunting rehabilitation with Ian, a stern Scottish physical therapist hiding a tragic loss of his own. Meanwhile, Maggie’s older sister, Kitty, returns from three years of self-imposed exile to comfort Maggie and exposes a family secret that has the potential to drive their parents apart. The cascade of events—from Maggie’s grueling hospital recovery and the bitter split from Chip to a reconciliation with Kitty and a bond with Ian—are fast-paced and sharply drawn. And though Maggie’s inspirational perseverance is the point of Center’s tale (“it’s the trying that heals you,” Ian tells Maggie), the smaller moments are among the most memorable: Maggie and Kitty’s night together after their long separation; Ian taking Maggie to the hospital rooftop for her first breath of fresh air; Maggie’s birthday party at the family cottage. Center transforms the story of a family tragedy into a heartfelt guide to living the fullest life possible. 100,000-copy announced first printing. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/19/2018
Release date: 05/15/2018
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-9687-0
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