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How to Walk Away

A poignant and inspiring story of resilience and recovery.



Margaret Jacobson has a picture perfect life just around the corner. She has just graduated from college with an MBA, has obtained a dream job, and has a fabulous boyfriend she adores. A night that promises to be the best night of her life, quickly turns into her worst nightmare, with nothing more than a gust of wind. In the hospital she is forced to face the possibility she may never walk again. Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms after facing devastating heartbreak, the loss of her job, and even crushing family secrets. What will she do now? What can she do now? Will she ever find love again?

“When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else.”


HOW TO WALK AWAY is a book about life lessons. Lessons that Maragret has to learn the hard way. Her boyfriend, Chip, overcome with guilt, won’t visit her in the hospital. She must work with Ian, a stern physical therapist that gives her very little motivational support or assistance. Her older sister, Kitty, returns after a three year absence to comfort Maragret and to expose a long held family secret that may tear their parent apart.

Margaret’s perseverance is a fabulous takeaway from the book. But it is the small scenes in the book that make you really want to cheer for her: the bonfire at the family cottage, helping with the children’s arts and craft fair, and the April 1st Valentine party. All these events lead us to my favorite character in the book, Kitty. She has short spiky hair, small hoop earrings going up the sides of both ears, and a nose ring, and she adds tremendous color and spark to this story. When no one else knows what to do, Kitty does! She styles Maggie’s hair, makes her laugh and plans a party or two. Her persistence and ability to make things happen is adorable.

KATHERINE CENTER’s writing is absorbing, and easy to read. The story is a touching and inspiring chronicle of loss, forgiveness, and moving on with life. The pacing of the story is perfect. The characters are real and authentic; some you like, some you don’t, just as it is with life. The writing, story and characters merge beautifully to create a memorable book. CENTER graduated from Vassar College and the University of Houston’s creative writing program. She lives in Houston with her husband and two children. She is the author of five other novels about love and family.

Publisher St Martin’s Press

Published May 15, 2018


“It’s strange that I could have laughed so hard under those circumstances, during that very dark moment in my life. But I’ve decided sorrow can make things funnier. Endure enough hardship, and you start really needing a good laugh.“
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