OK, I’m so excited to write this book review because (knock on wood) this might be the best (most enjoyable) book I’ve read this year! I couldn’t put it down and read it in less than a week, which is pretty fast for me!
Here is the book’s description:
“Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, 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 a brief, tumultuous moment.
“In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there’s her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there’s Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won’t let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect.“
My Verdict: “How to Walk Away” by Katherine Center is a Must Read
I absolutely loved this book! I liked Margaret as a character. She seemed like a kind person with an edge to her. I liked the dynamic of her family and her older sister Kit. It reminded me a little bit of my family. Although I found their mother annoying and a bit one-dimensional, I liked that the author created little side stories about the family that were interwoven into the main plot.
If you are a huge fan of romances like me, this is a book for you. Although Ian is not my favorite love interest ever, he grew on me as the story progressed. When I bought this book, I did not realize it was going to be about a woman who becomes a paraplegic. I guess, I just thought she needed physical therapy for some reason! But this book is somewhat similar to Me Before You in that the romance is between a paraplegic and her caretaker (physical therapist).
But I found this book refreshing since the roles were reversed. Instead of grumpy paraplegic Will in Me Before You, there is grumpy PT Ian. Although Margaret is not nearly as quirky as Me Before You’s main character Louisa, she is a talker like Louisa, and she tries to make Ian laugh like Louisa did for Will. Other than that, I didn’t find many other similarities between these books, and I personally enjoyed Katherine Center’s writing style more so than Jojo Moyes’.
I really respected Ian and his decisions. Throughout the book, he fights to ignore his feelings for Margaret to protect her (and himself). I don’t want to give everything away, but this is not a book where they fall immediately in love. The author does a good job keeping up the mystery on whether the couple will actually end up together. I wasn’t expecting it to end how it did, and I’m glad the author tied up all the loose ends in the epilogue.
I have read other reviews concerning this book and some of the most critical ones claimed that Margaret’s medical condition wasn’t convincing. As someone who doesn’t know much about medicine or health care, I think when you’re reading a book like this, you just have to take off your skepticism glasses and read the book for what it is. I didn’t think there was anything the author mentioned that didn’t make sense. I can imagine that she wanted to write a book about a love story between a medical care provider and a patient. She certainly achieved that, and she did it in a way that didn’t make it seem creepy or like Ian was taking advantage of Margaret.
All in all, I’m giving this book five stars! It’s a must-read, and I plan on keeping this book for my own personal library. I have already added Center’s other books to my TBR list!
If you’ve read this book, what did you think of it? I’d love to hear your thoughts! As always, have a wonderful week and happy reading!