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After reading (and absolutely ADORING) Things You Save in a Fire, I was on a mission to read all of Katherine Center’s back reads including her well known How to Walk Away. This book blew me away. I know, I know I’ve been saying that quite frequently lately but this one really did. It was sweet, heart-wrenching and had an achingly authentic romantic story that will make this a go-to read for many years to come. What I truly loved about this book was how involved I got in the characters’ lives. It was so hard to let go and accept some of their decisions, even though they were harsh and real and the best choice for them at the time. I think that is what truly made me love this.
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. (Goodreads)
I read this book without having fully read the synopsis or any reviews on it and I think that was what had contributed to me loving it so dearly. For that reason… I’m going to be as vague as possible in this review when it comes to some aspects of the book. The story progressed in a logical and realistic way that I thoroughly enjoyed, without the need for the author to rely on a lot of dramatic events to keep my attention. I can be known to be quite picky when it comes to medical accuracy in stories and this one had me happily reading through a plot line that I would normally avoid due to lack of research or just general oversight on matters of importance.
That said, I did find myself easily predicting quite a lot of the events in this story so it wasn’t completely surprising when things happened. The author’s ability to create utterly authentic and gripping characters though more than made up for any prediction I had of the story’s ending. The slow burn journey of the love story when combined with the heart-wrenching emotional turmoil involved with recovery from a serious injury had me hooked. I was unable to put this book down and positively cheered every time something happened (romantically, of course) that I had been predicting/ looking forward to.
The pacing of the story and solid character development made this such a good read. I dislike stories with a serious injury premise that happen over a matter of weeks. With the emotional upheaval such an event would have on your life, it’s only natural to latch on to anything happy so I’m glad the author addressed this in a realistic way. It not only gained my approval but had me believing in the longevity of the romantic relationship and personal progress from such an injury.
What I disliked about this book were a few of the main character, Margaret’s, reactions to the actions of some side characters. It felt like there were some people that had done truly devastating things to her and she brushed them off far too quickly in my opinion. It just did not seem realistic to me. Of course, I can hold quite a grudge so perhaps that’s just my own take on her choices and not the majority. Overall, this is still a brilliant book that I hope more people read!
// have you read any books by Katherine Center? what were your thoughts on them? //