*An INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!!!
*An INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER!!!
*Named TOP TEN WOMEN’S FICTION of 2019 by Booklist!
*A Goodreads Choice Awards BEST FICTION 2018 semifinalist!
*Nominated for BOOK OF THE YEAR at Book of the Month Club!
*One of GOOD MORNING AMERICA’s 20 Hottest Books of Summer 2018!
*Shortlisted for Best Women’s Fiction for 2019 by the American Library Association!
*A May 2018 Book of the Month Club selection!
*An Indie Next Great Reads pick for May 2018!
* STARRED reviews from Kirkus and Booklist!
From the author of Happiness for Beginners comes an unforgettable love story about finding joy even in the darkest of circumstances.
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.
How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.
Get the paperback!
The trade paperback comes with lots of extras at the end, including an author Q&A and a bonus chapter!
bestselling author nina george
"If you just read one book this year, read How to Walk Away"
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
bestselling author Jill santopolo
"A heartbreak of a novel that celebrates resilience and strength."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
BESTSELLING AUTHOR ELINOR LIPMAN
“I couldn’t put this book down and didn’t want it to end."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
#1 bestselling author jenny lawson
"I can't think of a blurb good enough. My favorite Katherine Center ever."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
bestselling author nina george
"A beautiful and strong survival novel for the soul."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
pamela klinger-horn • excelsior bay books
“Delightfully refreshing. An absolute charmer. Your next great read.”
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
#1 bestselling author emily giffin
"Reads like an intimate conversation with your best friend."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
AUTHOR CATHERINE NEWMAN
"I laughed a lot and cried a little. But mostly? I wished Katherine Center would move in next door.”
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
bestselling author NINA george
"If you have friend who is lost in life, do them a favor and hand them this novel."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
#1 bestselling author Jenny Lawson
"Poignant and funny and heartbreaking and joyful . . . so human and relatable."
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
bestselling author Karen White
"A book that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.”
on HOW TO WALK AWAY
*** Be sure to check back for other ways of reading/downloading/listening to the story!
PRAISE for HOW TO WALK AWAY:
“Center knows how to keep the pages turning, ensuring readers will be completely swept up in Margaret’s story. With its appealing characters and wisdom about grappling with life’s challenges, Center’s sixth novel has all the makings of a breakout hit.”
—BOOKLIST / STARRED REVIEW
“Center’s characters . . . leap off the page with their unique voices, and their relationships evolve slowly and satisfyingly. Although this is largely the story of Margaret learning to make the most of her life, it’s also a touching and believable love story with plenty of romantic-comedy flourishes. A story about survival that is heartbreakingly honest and wryly funny, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Elizabeth Berg.”
—KIRKUS / STARRED REVIEW
An Indie Next Great Reads Pick for May!
“How to Walk Away deals with a tragic situation evoking emotions of despair, humor, pity, and love. This is a heartwarming and sensitive story that captivated me from beginning to end.”
—Fran Duke, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA
“Center 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 . . . Transforms the story of a family tragedy into a heartfelt guide to living the fullest life possible.”
“Heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure, Katherine Center’s HOW TO WALK AWAY is an unforgettable ride—and a natural Indie Next List pick.”
—IndieBound / An IndieNext Great Reads Pick for May
“Inspiring and romantic… A touching and truthful novel that shows how people can find comfort in the most unexpected places.”
“Katherine Center writes amazing heartwarming stories. While she definitely puts her characters through the wringer — this story is filled with a tragic scenario — in Center’s expert hands, it becomes more about family and less about loss. A marvelous example of acceptance and healing and a celebration of family . . .”
―USA Today/Must-Read Women’s Fiction
A Book of he Month Club selection for May 2018!
“I picked up How To Walk Away with the intention of reading the opening paragraph, just to see what it was all about. One hundred pages later, I realized I had missed six emails, two phone calls, and lunch. I never miss a meal. But Katherine Center’s voice did what great fiction is meant to do: It pulled me in so immediately and completely that I forgot about real life.”
—TAYLOR JENKINS REID for Book of the Month • Why I Love It
“This novel beautifully weaves together a myriad of characters and experiences for a full, deep look at what it means to find your happiness.”
—BUSTLE/The 15 Best Fiction Books Coming Out in May 2018
“This heart-wrenching yet hilarious novel will appeal to fans of Me Before You.”
— In TOUCH Magazine
On RealSimple’s list of “Summer’s Most Anticipated Romance Novels”
A “witty, tender novel.”
LAST SUMMER, YOU READ: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes or any story that makes you feel the full depth of human emotion. THIS SUMMER, TRY: How to Walk Away, the latest uplifting novel by Katherine Center. This bittersweet romantic comedy covers all your heart’s bases: familial love, romantic love and, most importantly, self-love.
AUTHORS on HOW TO WALK AWAY:
“In How to Walk Away, Katherine Center masterfully weaves together the wonderful, horrible, funny, painful, messy parts about being human to create a heartbreak of a novel that celebrates resilience and strength. Through her characters, she shows readers that no matter what happens, hope and love are more powerful than tragedy and loss.”
―JILL SANTOPOLO, bestselling author of The Light We Lost
“If you just read one book this year, read HOW TO WALK AWAY. Katherine Center has written a beautiful and strong survival novel for the soul. If you have friend who is lost in life, do them a favor and hand them this novel.”
―NINA GEORGE, NYT bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop
“Warm, witty, and wonderfully observed . . . Katherine Center’s HOW TO WALK AWAY reads like an intimate conversation with your best friend. I wish I could go have coffee with Margaret now!”
―EMILY GIFFIN, #1 NYT bestselling author of First Comes Love
“Novel immersion—that rare and wonderful state where I couldn’t put this book down and didn’t want it to end. I SO rooted for narrator Margaret, for her wit and courage, and applauded the sweet cynicism that was all at once earned, sympathetic, and refreshing! I highly recommend HOW TO WALK AWAY, and I thank Katherine Center for this reading pleasure.”
―ELINOR LIPMAN, bestselling author of The Family Man
“I can’t think of a blurb good enough. My favorite Katherine Center ever. Poignant and funny and heartbreaking and joyful all wrapped up in messy details that make this story so human and relatable. Clear your schedule because you won’t be able to put it down until it’s done.”
―JENNY LAWSON, #1 NYT bestselling author of Furiously Happy
“Center has a sharp eye for social dynamics and the comedy they produce and knows how to keep the reader engaged.”
—GRAEME SIMSION, bestselling author of The Rosie Project
“In How to Walk Away, Katherine Center shows a unique talent for writing flawed, wounded characters who are so well-crafted and multi-dimensional that the reader can’t resist cheering for them. In the face of life-altering tragedy, the author deftly tackles fraught family relationships and the ups and downs of a life unwillingly blown off course while offering no easy answers. Laugh-out-loud funny while simultaneously deeply moving, How to Walk Away is a book about survival, resilience, strength and forgiveness. A book that will resonate with readers long after the last page is turned.”
—KAREN WHITE, bestselling author of The Time Between and On Folly Beach
“Don’t start How to Walk Away if you’ve got somewhere to be. It’s a cancel-all-plans kind of book, a call-in-sick-to-work kind of book, a just-one-more-chapter kind of book, even if your family is milling around starvingly, wondering aloud about dinner and whether it is going to get made. (Spoiler alert: No.) I fell in love with Margaret; I had a huge crush on the romantic lead; I laughed a lot and cried a little. But mostly? I wished Katherine Center would move in next door.”
—CATHERINE NEWMAN, author of Catastrophic Happiness
“I picked up How To Walk Away with the intention of reading the opening paragraph, just to see what it was all about. One hundred pages later, I realized I had missed six emails, two phone calls, and lunch. I never miss a meal. But Katherine Center’s voice did what great fiction is meant to do: It pulled me in so immediately and completely that I forgot about real life . . .
This generous story about family secrets, love in sickness and in health, and the resilience of the human spirit has serious Nora Ephron vibes.
I loved it and I think you will, too.”
—TAYLOR JENKINS REID, author of One True Loves
“One of this year’s best spring novels . . . Center deftly examines a potentially depressing topic with a witty and engaging touch.”
—Karin Gillespie, The Agusta Chronicle
“Katherine Center’s latest release is an uplifting story about finding the light after a tragic accident. How to Walk Away is the perfect read for fans of Emily Giffin.”
—The Sacramento Bee
“An accident throws Margaret Jacobsen’s life into turmoil, causing her to rethink the future she worked toward for years in this funny and heartfelt novel from Katherine Carter.”
“A heartwarming story of a young woman forced to reckon with what—and who—truly matters in life.”
—Book of the Month Club
“A story of love, resilience, and discovering one’s untapped strength.”
—Read It Forward
“Katherine Center has skillfully managed to weave this New York Times best-seller together with sadness, frustration, courage, love, humor, happiness, and yes, even joy! How to Walk Away is high on my list of women’s fiction book club recommendations. I must say that there was not much to not like about How to Walk Away. I found that once I picked it up, I just did not want to put it down.”
—Book Club Reporter
BOOKLIST: Top Ten Women’s Fiction for 2019!
Book of the Month Club: A May Pick
Southern Living: Beach Books Perfect for Summer Vacation
Half Price Books: Buyer’s Pick of the Week
POPSUGAR: Best Books for Mother’s Day Gifts 2018
BOOKISH: May Book Club Pick
PARADE Magazine: 20 Books to Kick Back With on Memorial Day Weekend
SheReads: New Release Spotlight
Ms. Career Girl: Best Beach Reads for Your Summer Vacation
Liz & Lisa: Recommended Reads for May
BookSparks: Summer Reading Book Club/Summer Reading Challenge 2018 #SRC2018
Goodreads: Newsletter Featured Title
HelloGiggles: Books Coming Out This Week
Modern Mrs. Darcy: 20 Books Everyone Will Be Talking About This Summer
The Sacramento Bee: The Best Beach Reads for Your Summer Vacation
“How to Walk Away is one of the most inspiring, hopeful and honest books I’ve ever read. And I read a LOT.”
—Kirsten Beverly, HALF PRICE BOOKS
“Center’s characters will make you laugh, cry, and want to slap them, but How to Walk Away is going to be your favorite novel of May 2018.”
—Pamela Klinger-Horn – EXCELSIOR BAY BOOKS – Excelsior, MINNESOTA
“How to Walk Away is going to be the summer’s big hit!”
—Nancy Simpson-Brice – BOOK VAULT – Oskaloosa, IOWA
“I have only just started reading How to Walk Away and am having to remind myself to breathe.” #pageturner
—Mary OMalley – ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP – Naperville, ILLINOIS
“Katherine Center comes up with her best novel yet, with funny, snappy dialogue and a smart, sympathetic heroine.”
—Cynthia Kuhn – BLUE WILLOW BOOKSHOP – Houston, TEXAS
“A heart-warming and sensitive story that captivated me from beginning to end.”
—Fran Duke – WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS – Chatham, MASSACHUSETTS
“Just plain fun! I couldn’t put How to Walk Away down. Witty and entertaining.”
—Pamela Mellor, MACDONALD BOOKSHOP – Estes Park, COLORADO
“A page-turner . . . Once you’ve opened the book, even if you say to yourself, ‘I hate hospitals—I don’t like to see people suffer,’ you’re completely in it. You will not put it down . . . It’s very, very well done. If you’ve already read the books of JoJo Moyes, you will have a really good time. . . A super great novel.”
—Gerard Collard – LA GRIFFE NOIRE – Paris, FRANCE
[Translated from the French 🙂 ]
TOP L to R: Hungarian edition • Swedish edition • UK editon • Czech edition • French edition
BOTTOM L to R: Dutch edition • Slovakian edition • German edition • Russian edition • Polish edition
"This beautiful story is more than just a book about physical healing... it's about resistance, perseverance, determination along with heartbreak, loyalty, and trust all mixed in with love, family and, most of all, hope. Dedicate time to read this because you will not be able to put it down."
"Wow! I don't know how to describe reading How to Walk Away by Katherine Center without sounding like a major fangirl. I picked it up in the afternoon thinking I could just read a chapter or two and get on with my day... never happened. This is one of those novels that will become a part of my "desert island library"—books I read and reread over the years because they are comfort food to my soul. I HIGHLY recommend this one."
"This truly is one of the best, most romantic novels I have ever read. And I've read a lot. This book is a marvel! It's funny, romantic, tear-jerking, and profound."
"The story is clever, unpredictable, devastating, and ultimately unforgettable. Clear your schedule before you start it, because you will not be able to put it down."
"Prepare to be blown away by How to Walk Away, just one of Katherine Center's beautifully, often comically written, bittersweet novels of overcoming tragedy and persevering. I was hooked on the first page, and everything else had to wait while I delved, completely absorbed, into this fantastic book."
"I am sorry the rest of the world has to wait until 2018 to read HOW TO WALK AWAY because it is truly a ray of sunshine in dark days."
"Wow, this book is inspirational! The story is mesmerizing. I couldn’t put it down. This is a book for everyone."
"Absolutely stunning work! I adore the main characters, the story is well developed and fascinating."
"I really loved this book. The story is one that grabs you from the get go,the ending is superb with the writing inspiring, upbeat, and filled with subtle humor. I didn't want to put it down."
"This story is tender and bittersweet most of all hopeful. I devoured it in one sitting and I can't wait to tell all of my friends to read it!"
"To say I loved this book is an understatement. It's everything you could want in a book and more. It's intense and emotional. You will be cheering for Margaret from the beginning up until the very end. Make sure that you leave plenty of time to devote to this book because I read it in less than a day."
"I can't recommend this book enough. It is sad, sweet, hopeful, and beautiful."
"Wow, I think this is going to be one of my favorite novels of the year. I couldn't read quick enough. This is a story of strength, courage, and overcoming."
"HOW TO WALK AWAY is like meeting a friend for coffee, but then coffee turns to wine and you both stay up all night catching up. Such a poignant, funny and ultimately hopeful read."
"Wow. I don't know where to begin. I didn't want to put this book down but at the same time I didn't want it to ever end. I know easily this will be one of my favorite books of 2018."
"You will know the characters from page one. You will love Margaret and relate to her and her situations. Katherine Center writes as if she is telling you a story that is truly happening while gulping down some strong coffee with close friends or sisters. I highly recommend this beautiful book. I savored it and look forward to reading more from this talented author. 5 STARS!!"
"I adored this book, and it is one of the few five star ratings I have given this year. I found myself highlighting passages as I read and even taking iPhone pictures of some of the heartfelt writing so I could go back and remember it."
“This book should be required reading for everyone. Sad but wonderful story full of wisdom and wit. Katherine Center has gone to the top of my ‘must read every book she writes’ authors. Fall in love and then learn how to live—read this book.”
“This book was heartbreaking and funny and heartwarming and addictive and just about as good as it gets. My only complaint is that it ends. LOVED IT.”
“Katherine Center really just doesn’t disappoint.”
“How tragically beautiful! I’ve never laugh-cried while reading before, and this author had me in stitches. It all felt so real and visceral and hilarious and sad. Well done! So well written!”
“This book!! Oh, it was every thing my heart needed! This story is heartbreaking, uplifting, nerve-wracking and wonderfully written. The characters were believable and their development was seamless. This book is full of hope and gave me a sense of gratitude for every thing I take for granted every day.”
“There are novelists and then there are novelists . . . those that just know how to tug at our heartstrings. How to envelop us in characters’ lives, and make our tear ducts burst wide open. Katherine Center is that kind of author.
How to Walk Away is the second novel I’ve read by Katherine Center. I just love how she writes—every word feels like real life, there are tough times, where the tears well up and fall, and then there are moments immediately thereafter when laughter ensues. Her characters are quirky and realistic. Maggie and Kit felt like my best friends. Somehow, I’m pretty sure a lot of other readers felt the same way.
This is a novel about learning to roll with the punches, good and bad, as well as about taking stock in loved ones. It’s also about life lessons. Thank you for the reminder Katherine Center! I love love love your books!”
“This is one of the most charming and lovable books I ever read.”
“Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center made it to my best reads of 2020. Now, I’m certain How to Walk Away will also make it to my best reads of 2021. I love that the author writes about female characters who don’t give up. What’s best about Ms. Center’s writing is the humor. It makes you tend to forget that you’re reading about something sad. Also, the romance is just too adorable. I would definitely read this book again and again.”
“Another absolutely beautiful, funny, crazy novel from my new favorite author. So glad I discovered Katherine Center.”
“This was such a good book, from start to finish, and left me so grateful for all I have.”
“After such a long streak of reading okay/good/pretty good books, FINALLY I read one that was exactly what I needed at exactly the right time in my life. This book was wonderful and definitely the best book I’ve read so far this year. 6 beautiful, heartbreaking stars! Highly recommend!!!”
“How to Walk Away is one of those books that you don’t want to end.”
“This is such a devastating, awe inspiring, heartbreaking, motivating love story. But not just a love story between two people. A love story about learning to love yourself and make the most of the cards you’ve been dealt.”
“I just loved everything about it!! Perfect love story.”
“I am very picky about giving out five star ratings, but this was hands-down one of the best books I’ve ever read. Beautiful writing. I could not put it down and stayed up way too late to finish it. This book will stay with me a while. ♥♥”
“Give me any book by Katherine Center, and I know it’ll make me cry and I’ll love it. This book is tender, hilarious, and courageous. If you haven’t yet, I’d highly recommend picking it up… immediately.”
“I laughed, I cried, I loved every page of this book.”
“Quickly becoming a Katherine Center groupie!!! I love her writing so very much. Her characters are relatable and the stories are so tangled it’s addicting. Loved this book and its message. My favorite quote from it was “When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for someone else.” Five stars highly recommend !!!
“When you think nothing is going right for you and the world is treating you badly, read this story.”
“This book made me cry and get all in my feels!! Such a sad tragedy that turned into something beautiful.”
“This book was so meaningful & profound in ways I cannot even accurately describe. It was such a sweet balance of tackling the messiness of tragedy and trying to find the humor in between it all. The ending was one of the most impactful messages about life I’ve ever read. It spoke to my soul so deeply and I think I will have to read the epilogue a few more times before I return the book. One of my new favorites. ❤️”
“I loved every second of this book. It’s excellent storytelling with warmth and wit.”
“This is my favorite book I’ve read this year! Such a different type storyline and full of courage. Well worth reading.”
“Beautiful. I laughed and cried typically within pages. I loved all of the characters and the journey they went on. There’s a quote from the book that really hit me in the feels, ‘When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else.'”
“Amazing! So much hope and joy in the midst of hardship!”
“One of my favorite authors! I recently read “Things You Save in a Fire” and I loved the way the author wrote the book. I thought it was lighthearted but deep. That’s how I felt about this book, too. This book made me laugh, cry and cheer the characters on! I loved every minute of the book.”
“I read this in literally one sitting without once putting it down. A very emotionally charged and wonderful book.”
“From the beginning the writing style painted such a great picture I literally felt like I was the main character…her anxiousness, her excitement then the calm before the storm and then her determination, frustration, sadness and then love.”
“Katherine Center is exceptional. There’s no doubt reading her books will make you cry with equal parts joy and equal parts grief, and she’s gonna wring out every emotion that you probably have inside your body, mind, and whatever. She’s JUST that good.”
“Katherine Center is 100% my kind of author, her storylines are amazing! This book is amazing, you really have to read it!!”
“I cannot even express how much I loved this book. I stayed up all night reading it. I just could not put it down. I laughed, I cried, I cheered. I know books are subjective so I generally don’t recommend them but this is an exception. I think everyone should read this book. It’s that good.”
“Woah. Blew me away in the first chapter. Loved the story, the narrator was just so relatable.”
“This is a fantastic book on so many levels. It’s not an easy read, dealing with devastating injury and heartache on all levels. It’s a book that makes you want to try harder, and remember that “when you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for someone else.”
“One of my favorite books of 2021.”
“This book is unlike any other that I’ve read thus far, in that the main character has proven to remain tough and resilient even in the most grueling of circumstances. It shows that we as humans are able to adapt to whatever life may throw at us along the way. It’s all about personal growth, a changing of one’s mindset, and faith. I think this story carries with it a lot of meaningful lessons, certainly ones i’ll never forget. I strongly encourage everyone to read this book!! 12/10″
“I have read every book by this author and have NOT yet read one that did not keep me engrossed throughout the story. I wanted NONE of these books to end.”
“This just about took my breath away.”
“This was one of those books that I picked up and looked forward to reading almost every day. It was one of the most uplifting and genuine books I’ve read in a long time. Read this!”
“Wow. What a beautifully written book. It was both heartbreaking and filled with hope. I experienced a lot of highs and lows with the characters in the book. Definitely a book that teaches you to live life to the fullest and be so grateful for what you have.”
“THIS is exactly the book we need in our world right now. ❤️ Absolutely, incandescently, perfectly imperfect.”
“Oh Katherine Center, I can’t sing your praises enough. Another 5star rating. I don’t know how you come up with these stories. These books are truly inspiring and heart warming. So realistic and heart wrenching, but only in the best ways. Please continue with your amazing-ness. You will always have a fan in me! Read these books people!”
“Katherine Center is my new favorite, her prose is eloquent and poignant, I laughed until I cried in more than one place. I loved this book.”
“I have never ever cried because I finished a book until I read How to Walk Away. It is such a beautiful, wonderful, inspiring, and heartfelt story. I held my breath so many times, smiles, laughed and cried. I loved it. I wish it never ended.”
“Another fantastic, uplifting story of resilience and love.”
“I absolutely loved this book. I wish I could express just how much but alas a writer I am not. It hits you on many different levels and leaves you feeling hopeful, happy, and content.”
“Loved this book so much! I’ve found another favorite author.”
“Trying to find the words to describe this book. So much heart, profoundness, lessons, lost love, new love, lost life, new life, facing fears and WOW I thought this book was written just for me to read.”
“A tragedy, a comedy, a romance, a triumph over the hard knocks of life. I enjoyed this so much. It was clean, it was funny, it was heartbreaking, it was romantic, and in the end it was surprisingly uplifting. Maggie is in a plane crash with her fiance and what follows is her recovery…in all its forms.”
“I loved this book. The theme was how to live the life you get, with joy and gratitude and passion . . . It was a fast read, awesome from the first to last page.”
“This was not at all what I expected and I loved every minute of it.”
“The term book hangover was created for books like this—there is no way to avoid it with this one. Be prepared to want to do nothing but read this book once you start—forget about real life and chores and such…they will cease to exist once you start reading this . . . don’t hesitate to add this book to you TBR list and move it to the top! It is that good! It is 100% worth the fast track to the top of your list!”
“Wonderful! Wish I could give it more than 5 stars. Unique premise, interesting characters and terrific story.”
“A wonderful heartfelt book of struggle, emotions all over the map, happiness, joy, family dysfunction, and the beauty of all life has to offer. Another wonderful book by Katherine Center! Absolutely worth the read.”
“In a story of lost dreams and new dreams, Maggie discovers what it means to look forward, to savor every precious moment, and to happily live the life you’ve been given.”
“Outstanding. Want to read again.”
“It’s so raw and emotional, I think everyone could relate to Maggie and/or Ian, and the things they had to go through in life. Nevertheless, their personalities and the will for life and the will for the better was amazing and truly inspiring. Also, their chemistry was beyond special and beautiful, and just for that if nothing else, this novel is, a million times, worth the read.”
“I literally LOVED this book. It was the type of book that you start and just can’t stop reading. It was uplifting and inspiring and just truly beautiful.”
“I adored it! I cried because it was sweet and relatable, with a touch of magical romance grounded in the reality of life not being what you expect.”
“Loved. Listened on audio and found myself searching for silly errands to run so I could get back to Maggie and Ian. First audio book I’ve actually listened to twice, back to back — once was not enough with this sweet, romantic and hopeful story! Katherine Center is the best.”
“If you are searching for something in your life this book is for you. Wow wow wow.”
“I love realistic fiction and romance. This has both. What I wasn’t prepared for was what Maggie, the main character, and I shared. I had to stop early on in the book to have a good cry and regroup. What Maggie went through early in the book mirrored my exact thoughts and feelings when I had a horrible car accident. Once I processed that, I was able to continue. This is a wonderful book about heartache and healing. I did not want it to end.”
“Ooof, what a delight of a book. I enjoyed this so much.”
“Coup de ❤️! Peut-être parce que j’y allais sans trop d’attente, peut-être parce que cette lecture arrivait au bon moment ou juste parce que ce livre est une vraie pépite. Bref, j’ai adoré et je suis beaucoup trop heureuse de savoir que d’autres romans de l’auteur m’attendent.”
“Inspiring and motivating. Beautifully written and amazing quotes and words to live by throughout the whole book. Wonderfully crafted and so captivating until the end.”
“I started this book late one afternoon and finished it before midnight in one sitting. From cover to cover, I remained ensnared in the web of a story I simply couldn’t stop reading. Katherine Center’s brilliantly written book engages a range of human emotions – the giddy highs of hope, anticipation, and happiness to the dark lows of despair, utter hopelessness, and uncontrollable grief and loss. From tears and an aching heart to smiles and a ray of hope, this book moved me. I can never ask for more than that from a book or author.”
“I bawled like a baby.”
“I wasn’t expecting to read this is one sitting and stay up late to do so. I really really enjoyed the characters and the story.”
“This book is exactly what I needed right now. It was heartfelt without being cheesy and I love a book that can teach me some real life lessons about hope and courage.”
“This book was one of those books that I didn’t want to put down. And I didn’t want it to end. There were 3 times I just stopped after reading passages and thought about what the author wrote.”
“This new book by Katherine Center is being touted as the #1 summer read… but they’re wrong! It’s a #1 all year read!!!”
“I don’t know where I’ve been the last several years, but now that I’ve found Katherine Center’s books, I can’t stop reading them. They are so good!!”
“I loved this book. It is a great story…very sad…but the author told it in a way that had me laughing out loud at times (lots of italicized internal dialogue that I found hilarious).”
“100% unputdownable! My heart was racing after the very first chapter…. Katherine Center writes with a thoroughly descriptive voice that will put you deep inside Margaret’s soul. Experience her every pain, her worst fears.. . . Center has a delightful way of bringing her characters to life. Giving them a voice that’s loud and clear. All suddenly becoming very real, very human. I loved Margaret’s inner-dialogue as she struggles to piece her life back together. . . . \ As with all Katherine Center novels, be prepared for the entire spectrum of emotions, from laughter to tears. (Who could ask for more?)”
“A heartbreaking but inspirational book. Beautifully written with characters that leap off the page. Definitely a worthwhile read.”
“Loved loved loved loved loved this book!! Sweet, funny, and inspirational without falling into the Hallmark Channel kind of smarmy. That’s hard to do!”
“This was such a cute read, but also dealt with some really tough issues. I was swept away into Margaret’s world. I loved every second of it and can’t wait for the next book I read from Katherine Center.”
“This was such a feel good story. Loved it and the fact that she never gave up even though she wanted to.”
“I’ll just say that the first chapter had my heart racing and my hands sweaty. I was amazed at the author’s writing and I couldn’t believe that anyone could write that without living through it themselves, it was that vivid. My heart went out to Margaret and with every chapter I was pulled deeper into the story, cheering for Team Maggie and booing for Team Chip. And the ending…that has to be the best boat scene EVER. I’m marking this book on Goodreads as one of my favorite books of all time (less than 5% of the books I read make the cut.) This is a five star book in every way.”
“This is very original story of a strong heroine who is really doing a great job of trying to keep her life together when it seems to be falling apart everywhere. This is very warm, feel good book, that just leaves you feeling better for having read it.”
“Excellent. Loved it.”
“I saw this in many top 10 of 2018 lists, and it did not disappoint! I fell in love with the way Katherine Center voiced Maggie, and Maggie was so relatable. It warmed my heart so much and made me laugh and cry.”
“The story captivated me from the very beginning to end, I really coudn’t put it down! I read it in three days! It is an amazing story about hope, strength, courage and resilence. I didn’t want to finish it! And yes! there are all kinds of happy endings.”
“Unabashedly I rode waves of emotion right along with Margaret, the main character. The dialogue and the research it took to create this gem are hallmarks of this author. Take your time soaking this all in.”
“I enjoyed every minute of this book.”
“This is my favorite Katherine Center book! I stayed up all night to finish it. Read it, it will give you a new perspective about the many kinds of happy endings.”
“This book was amazing I couldn’t put it down! This is my first book in a long time (too long). I bought it at Target and I read it in 4 days! Such a perfect romance novel and an inspiring story. Must read!”
“This novel was so many things: beautifully written, tragic yet funny, insightful and poignant, and I’m so grateful I came across its lessons of courage and survival. Life is always both happy and sad and keeps moving forward.”
“This was my first Katherine Center novel and it most certainly will not be my last! I devoured this emotionally darling novel in a way I haven’t plowed through a book in quite awhile. Picking this up with no plot knowledge, everything about Margaret’s story was a surprise to me. LOVED Center’s writing style.”
“Soul crushing and uplifting all at the same time. Grab tissues.”
“Sometimes you buy a book when someone recommends it and it sits on your shelf. You just pick it up one day and start reading it without reading the back of the book or anything. This is what I did with this. Wow!! What a book!!! It had me at the beginning!!! I was rooting for Margaret. Loved this book! Highly recommend!!”
“I don’t read a lot of fiction but when I saw Brene Brown’s Instagram post about this book I purchased it right away. I.Couldn’t.Put.It.Down. I read it in 3 days. Now I have to read everything by Katherine Center.”
“A wonderful story about loss, love, courage and new beginnings. The characters were fantastic and the story was heart wrenching and drew me right in from the first chapter. Some laugh out loud moments and times where I shed a tear. Great book.”
“I can’t remember the last time I finished a book in one day. I truly enjoyed this book, the plot, and Maggie/Margaret’s rediscovery of herself.”
“This novel is about a tragedy, but it is so upbeat and positive that it truly is an inspirational read. There are interesting subplots, and all the characters are well developed and real in their own way. And the story itself is real. There is no overdone angst. There is no miracle if you just wish hard enough. But there is grit, determination, admiration, and hope. And the promise that even if your life isn’t perfect, it can still be good. And maybe that’s even better. There is much character growth all around, as each character finds that elusive thing – courage. It’s the courage to accept the things life hands you, whether you want them or not, and not to just focus on yourself and what you might not have anymore. As one of the characters says in the story, “When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else.”
“This was a book that I sat down to read one chapter of and then accidentally read the entire thing. In one sitting. It was really good. I loved the hospital setting. I love Scottish men. It helped give me a new outlook on my current job.”
“This book was recommended to me by my best friend. She adores this author, so I decided to give it a go. I went in blind, I didn’t read any reviews or blurbs or anything… and I’m so glad. I was blown away. I would find myself listening, with tears rolling down my eyes, feeling Margaret’s pain. I couldn’t imagine what she went through, but what an inspiration as well. I don’t want to give a single thing away in my review, but I can’t recommend this book enough.”
“Another Katherine Center book that I absolutely loved!”
“It occurred to me today that this author is writing the kind of romances I’d wanted for decades – books where real people find happiness together, but the author doesn’t pretend like love solves every problem and does away with reality.”
“The book is beautifully written, it’s an emotional roller coaster ride that will break your heart at first and will mend it back together by the end. If you are looking for an incredible story of courage and resilience that will make you cry and laugh from one page to next, pick up How to Walk Away immediately.”
“It kept me engaged from the beginning. And I cried. I’m not an overly emotional person but you could just feel the pain and hurt-it was so real and so well conveyed.”
“Hands down my favorite book of 2020.”
“You’d think with the subject matter this would be depressing but it is funny, heartwarming and deeply encouraging.”
“I picked it up to start reading it before bed, but I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. Worth it. Time for bed!“
“To say I loved this book is an understatement. It’s everything you could want in a book and more. It’s intense and emotional. You will be cheering for Margaret from the beginning up until the very end. If you haven’t discovered Katherine Center’s books yet my advice is that you run to pre order this book so that it’s waiting for you on release day and then do what I did which is to download all her previous books. You will not be disappointed. This is a book that will stay with you long after you have finished it. I call that a well deserved book hangover. Make sure that you leave plenty of time to devote to this book because I read it in less than a day.”
“What a fabulous book. I think Katherine Center is my new favorite author. Her books make me so happy, I love the characters and feel like I’m part of their lives.”
Five stars. “This book makes you laugh out loud one minute and have tears in your eyes the next.”
“This story gripped me straight away. I couldn’t put it down and read it in a day. The movement in the plot and characters is compelling and authentic. And this is inspiring. It manages to remain hopeful with offering false platitudes. It balances the ‘both and’ nature of life’s joys and pains. And strength and courage shine through.”
“I loved this book so much!!! I started it before going to bed and woke up the next morning and didn’t leave bed until I finished it. It’s full of lessons and nuggets of wisdom, but it’s all just a really enjoyable read. I found myself sucked into Maggie’s world and laughing and crying along with her, which doesn’t happen with every book I read. A true delight and I’m sad it’s over!”
“Beautiful story about finding your way in a hard situation. So real it read like a memoir.”
“I finished this in less than two days. Such a sweet, emotional (in a good way) and moving story. It had a little bit of everything romance, family drama, etc. My favorite part was the ending as it left me with a wonderful outlook on life. Great read.”
“Absolutely loved this book! It’s definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year!!! This was a new author for me but I can’t wait to see what other stories she has!!!”
“This book was everything I was looking for. Romance, witty banter, heartfelt and touching.”
“You guys, I don’t usually fall for the ads on Facebook about “the Newest Bestest Book Ever!”, but there was something about this one. It may have been all the raving accolades from authors I enjoy: Jenny Lawson, Brené Brown, Graeme Simsion. But it could have equally just been the bright red cover. Either way, I DEVOURED this book in two freaking days and was left with a heart so full. ❤️”
“I LOVED this book! The main protagonist never truly gives up and keeps fighting despite incredible odds.”
“Katherine Center has a wonderful style. Her descriptions, character development and story lines draw you in from the opening paragraphs! The writing is as lovely as the covers and the pages in between.”
“This book truly shows us how we all should approach every single day of our lives, making do with what we have and by appreciating every moment for what it is.”
“Center is quickly becoming a favorite author. Her books never disappoint.”
“Great heartwarming story with very touching characters and lots of sarcastic humour. An impossible-to-put-down book.”
“This is the most feel-good book that I have read this year, and maybe ever. The book has some parts that left me tearing up and other parts that had me laughing aloud. The characters are so realistic that it is like watching a movie of a life that really happened. The sympathy that I felt for Maggie was real: the anger I felt at those who hurt her was just as real. I can’t say enough good things about this book except that you just have to read it to believe it! It is insanely well-written!”
“It’s the middle of the night! First book I have ever read by this author and it will not be my last. It’s one of those stories that you cannot put down and it will stick with you for a very long time.”
“I cried and laughed and felt all the emotions in between. Beautifully written, utterly mesmerizing. I loved it! Highly highly recommend.”
“REALLY enjoyed this book and would highly recommend! Loved the plot, the characters, and this was very meaningful and thoughtful storytelling. I would like to read more from Katherine Center; a new author to me. I (embarrassingly) chose this book because the cover was just so darn pretty, and I am certainly glad that I did!”
“Every once in a while there is a book that comes around that just makes my heart happy. How To Walk Away is definitely one of those books. I was so sad to say goodbye to this story and these characters that I had come to love. A wonderful book about learning to live with what the world hands you and finding courage and strength within yourself, I would recommend this book over and over again to anyone!”
“Katherine Center writes real people having real lives. I love ALL of her work, and this is one of her best.”
“OMG, I must have told five friends about this book within five minutes of finishing it. When the offer to read an ARC came from St. Martin’s I almost deleted the email after reading the blurb. This line right here is what had me hesitating, ‘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.’ I mean that sounds like a tissue box or two kind of read, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but did I want to put myself through that kind of emotional turmoil? Then I kept reading and the answer was yes, and I’m so glad. I’ve read a lot of great books lately, but this has been my favorite.
Maggie and Ian are still with me even though it’s been a couple of weeks (I wanted to let the story settle before I wrote this review). I miss her crazy sister and I want to read it all over again — something I never do.
This was the first book of Katherine Center’s that I’ve read; it most certainly won’t be the last. Do yourself a favor, read this story. It will break your heart a little, maybe even curse at the fates, but it will make you smile and laugh and be awed by the strength of the human spirit.”
“Loved this book about resilience and courage.”
“How does a writer do both sides of a conversation so incredibly well??? I am not usually one that wants a book of laughs. I am a drama girl, but this book is sensational drama with an indomitable cast whose uses humor to fight. It is their base from which they lend support and garner strength. Have the time of your life. Read How to Walk Away.”
“This was the best book ever!!! I read every night before I go to sleep and I couldn’t wait till that time came around!!”
“Wow! I don’t know how to describe reading How to Walk Away by Katherine Center without sounding like a major fangirl. I picked it up in the afternoon thinking I could just read a chapter or two and get on with my day… never happened. The story of Margaret Jacobsen, a recent business school grad on the fast track to the perfect life with a dream job and a boyfriend who’s going to propose, as she navigates life after a horrific tragedy. Center’s books always seem fluffy and light on the surface, but go so much deeper than that. Her writing is absolutely gorgeous and she tucks great truths within the story that just stick with you for a long time. This is one of those novels that will become a part of my ‘desert island library’—books I read and reread over the years because they are comfort food to my soul. I HIGHLY recommend this one.”
“Perfect balance of tension, love, tenderness, sadness, and happy endings.”
“I . . . loved this book. It was my first Katherine Center book . . . This book made me so . . . soft . . . inspired . . . it really is just such a wonderful book and I recommend it to everyone I know.”
“Wow!! Usually I don’t go in for the life altering from a tragic accident books, but this was not from that mold. It was breathtaking & heartwarming, & heartbreaking, & fun & beautiful all at once! I highly recommend this book for everyone!!”
“One of the best books I’ve read!!!! Get this book! Read this book immediately! Beautifully written, straight from the heart, touching, amazing, brilliant!!!”
“Yes, this is a sweet touching love story about a woman and a man but it is also so much more. There is a story about a daughter and family and all the messiness that is involved in being a family. But even deeper than the stories about the characters, there is so much wisdom in this book. The author has a way of writing a rich and eloquent story but there are nuggets of truth and wisdom given.
I didn’t want to put this book down but at the same time I didn’t want it to ever end. I know easily this will be one of my favorite books of 2018.”
“AMAZING, intriguing and addicting story!!!! Absolutely LOVE it.”
“This is a uplifting, unpredictable story about a young woman whose life is turned upside down in an instant; but who perseveres with such courage and conviction you will cheer from your seat on the couch. I love books that don’t end with all the ends tied neatly in a bow and this is one of those books. Truly inspirational, uplifting, powerful, a book about loving yourself and mending families, and what happens when the life you had planned is not to be.”
“This book sends you on a compassionate journey about life’s tragedies and how to survive and thrive. This is a must read.”
“This is an incredibly special book. The characters are so genuine and I couldn’t help but fall in love with each of them, for different reasons (well, nearly all of them…). This book filled me with love and warmth and renewed my trust in happy endings. It is so beautifully written. Love is intertwined in so many ways. This is a story that will stay with me for quite a while.”
“I would give this 10 stars instead of 5 if I could. I don’t normally write reviews, but I just loved this book so much. Will be recommending to all my reader friends!”
“What an unexpected surprise this book gave me! I, typically, do not read these types of romancey, feel good, lovey-dovey types. WELLLLLLL, this really isn’t any of that. It is a story about a woman that must do a lot of hard work to get back to what she is meant to have/be. I laughed right out loud and cried without shame (sometimes at the same time).”
“While I shed lots of tears, the overall message was of hope & recovering happiness.”
“Katherine center writes a beautiful novel with How To Walk Away. Emotional, lovely and comical even in the reality of tragedy that could change her entire life with a family that has it’s own secrets and emotional charged ties. You will know the characters from page one. You will love Margaret and relate to her and her situations. Katherine Center writes as if she is telling you a story that is truly happening while gulping down some strong coffee with close friends or sisters. I highly recommend this beautiful book. I savored it and look forward to reading more from this talented author. 5 STARS!!”
“Loved this book! A total and utter page turner!
What happens when your perfect world falls apart and you have to face the unimaginable? Told with humor and sympathy, the character development was superb and each scene vividly portrayed. I was devastated when it ended!”
“How to Walk Away is an excellent book. I couldn’t put it down. It begins with a lot of tragedy. Margaret, who is on the cusp of having her dream life, traumatically has it all taken away. She has to reconfigure her life. Along the way, her family dynamics shift, and everyone has to adjust. It’s a great story about learning how to live from different angles. The ending was so good, I slowed my reading to make it last longer. Don’t walk away from this read.”
“I honestly don’t have words to explain how wonderful this book is .. so life changing and exceptional …”
“I received an early copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway, and I was SO excited when I got it! I knew I would at least like it —I read Katherine Center’s novel Happiness for Beginners a couple years ago, and it quickly became one of my favorites. How to Walk Away did not disappoint—in fact, it exceeded my already high expectations. I absolutely LOVED it, and would highly recommend it to anyone who may be considering it (and to anyone who isn’t!). It’s not the easiest topic to jump into, but Katherine Center manages to write in such a beautiful, powerful way, making you fall in love with every character, flaws and all, and injecting moments of humor amid great tragedy. I am sorry it’s over, but feel so much better having read it. 5 stars, for sure. :)”
“I could not put this book down. There’s so many life lessons that apply to everyone. One of the best books I’ve read.”
“I loved everything about this book! It had a storyline that drew me in immediately, wonderful characterizations of both the people you were meant to love and those you were meant to hate, a realistic portrayal of a young woman dealing with devastation and change that affected every aspect of her life. It combined humor with tenderness as Maggie sought to find her new normal, to learn how to live a life totally different from the one she had anticipated. I found inspiration in her conclusion: ‘Carry the sorrow when we have to, and absolutely savor the joy when we can.'”
“If you have not read a book by Katherine Center, I highly recommend that you don’t delay!! I am on my third book by her and can hardly put it down to get my chores done.”
“Oh, I loved this…all the stars!!! I won’t give too much away, but there’s tragedy, all the gamut of emotions toward recovery and at the end love, life and hope. Tears…check, humor…check, growth…check. The heart of this story is about life not being perfect and being OK with that and making the best out of what you’re given. It’s also about family, its messiness, its struggles and ultimately its unwavering support. ❤ Highly recommend.”
“Prepare to be blown away by How to Walk Away, just one of Katherine Center’s beautifully, often comically written, bittersweet novels of overcoming tragedy and persevering. I was hooked on the first page, and everything else had to wait while I delved, completely absorbed, into this fantastic book.
This is a book I will not soon forget. It’s one I am likely to read again in the future—there aren’t too many of those. I think I may have found another favorite author. This book is an absolute must-read.”
“I still get tears in my eyes when I think about this book. It’s a story that is not only tragic, but hopeful and inspiring! Katherine Center is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She knows how to create stories with fully developed characters and strong backstories. Her characters are not super-human or perfect but flawed and realistic. She adds humor, even in a story such as this, because that is real life, too!”
“Fabulous book. It makes you appreciate what you have in life.”
“I am so glad that this book was on the BookSparks summer reading challenge this year, as I am not sure if it would have landed on my reading pile otherwise. And that would have been the ultimate shame, because this is one of those books that stole my heart entirely.
This story is heartbreaking, inspiring, uplifting, devastating, hilarious, brutal and entirely, gorgeously human. I devoured this story – it captured my heart before I even knew what was happening. Any book that sparks a full on range of emotion in me is a huge winner, and this one had me laughing out loud (several times), and crying my eyes out (in devastation and pure joy), sometimes in the span of a few pages.
Katherine Center has unreal talent in sharing a character with you in a way that resonates – Margaret felt as real to me as reading about myself, or reading about a close friend. The way she is trapped navigating something she never asked for is raw and real, and makes you want to reach into the pages to help fix this for her.
This is one of my top-recommended must reads for this summer. I cannot tell you enough how much this book surprised and delighted me, and I hope it does the same for you.”
“I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. Oh my heart I loved this book.”
“Heartwarming and tragically beautiful. I was mesmerized by this book from beginning to end. A lovely, gratitude-inducing story that I highly recommend. I can’t wait to go back and read the author’s other novels.”
“This is a brilliant story of suffering, pain, acceptance and growth. I loved it so much. It was a story that would help you be more grateful for all that you have, and remind you to accept all that you do not.”
“I loved this book, pure and simple. Center’s writing has the perfect balance of humor and emotion, never going to far with either but always giving enough to make me blaze through the pages. Likewise, she’s a master at creating characters who go on some SERIOUS journeys (mostly when they don’t want to), and Margaret is no exception. I was so impressed by how deeply her character came full circle, and how well researched and true to form the facts that fed into the emotions were. That Margaret’s family grows and changes along with her just as deeply was a huge plus for taking this story from good to amazing, and the romance was the cherry on top. Katherine center is quickly becoming a HUGE go-to author for me. Loved this one, and felt sad when it was over even though the ending gave me happy tears.
USA TODAY: Q&A Interview
Houston Chronicle FEATURE: Houston Novelist Katherine Center Tackles Her Toughest Subject Matter to Date
Houston NPR Interview: Houston Matters RADIO INTERVIEW
Q&A with Blue Willow Bookshop: Katherine Center on Humor, Houston, and How to Walk Away
Bliss, Beauty, & Beyond: OPEN BOOK Q&A
Edit Your Life PODCAST: AUDIO INTERVIEW
She Speaks Facebook Live: VIDEO INTERVIEW
Writing Fun: VIDEO INTERVIEW
Houston Chronicle: How to Fall Back In Love with Reading ESSAY
We Heart Writing (UK): All the Stories You Shouldn’t Write ESSAY
Half Price Books: BEHIND THE BOOK ESSAY
Women Writers: The Joys of Editing ESSAY