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How to walk away
2018
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Margaret (Maggie) Jacobsen (Female), Engaged, Worked hard to build a bright future; had it taken away in an instant
Chip (Male), Engaged, Maggie's fiance
Kit (Female), Maggie's sister
Ian (Male), Physical therapist, Tough, Won't let Maggie give in to her pity
Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Love story
Romance
Topics
Engagements
Life changes
Friendship
Overcoming adversity
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Immediately after the love of her life proposes, Margaret Jacobsen has an accident that leaves her with a spinal cord injury and severe burns. With her fiancé Chip struggling to deal with what happened, and -Margaret learning how to live again, she leans on her sister Kit, with whom she was previously at odds. Center (Happiness for Beginners; The Lost Husband) has written a touching and truthful novel that shows how people can find comfort in the most unexpected places. The relationship between Kit and Margaret is reminiscent of the relationship between the Dashwood sisters in Jane -Austen's Sense and Sensibility. As she's fighting to gain control of her body, -Margaret begins to rely on her physical therapist Ian, and eventually their working relationship turns into something much more. VERDICT Inspiring and romantic, this novel is similar to Jojo Moyes's Me Before You. The budding romance will draw readers in, but the relationships among the many other characters also make it memorable.-Holly Skir, Broward Cty. Lib., FL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

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) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
An Award-winning AuthorMargaret 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 tumultuous moment. In the hospital, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. But sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need.
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