How to Walk Away: A Novel. Katherine Center. Creativia – St. Martin’s Press. Copyright May 2018, hb.. 320 pp.; ISBN #: 9781250149060.
Margaret Jacobson is living a charmed life. She works hard in school, is highly athletic and is soon to be engaged to the perfect guy, Chip. Chip is confident and passionate about flying and one night before he takes his final exam to be licensed, he insists on Margaret flying with him. That turns out to be the turning point in Margaret’s perfect life. After an accidental flight, Margaret is severely injured and debilitated with an inability to move her legs, walk or anything else she had dreamed of doing in her now non-existent future!
One can see where this narrative is going but it doesn’t erase the reader’s total engagement with how Margaret’s world changes and the dynamic people around her who enable her survival. First there is the enigmatic physical therapist, Ian, who is a tough piece of metal perfect for Margaret. Then there is her estranged sister, Kit, who returns and turns out to be just the right amount of jokes, food, commiseration, and inspiration for Margaret to get back into life and new dreams and visions for the future. It also turns out that Kit had disappeared out of love and not hate and lies.
Chip, the perfect guy, doesn’t cope well with what has happened to his fiancé. In fact, he is so riddled with guilt and shame that he falls apart. How will that complicate issues?
Trauma is a life-changer! How easy to write these words because most of us can’t possibly and fully imagine such changes in our life story? Katherine Center has got it right – so right that the plot and how these people’s lives intertwine in this initial nightmare is credible and endearing.
How to Walk Away is a more than apt title for readers to grasp by the end of this remarkable, realistic and engaging story of truly heroic growth and change! So nicely done, Katherine Center!