Vacation read #2 was How To Walk Away by Katherine Center. I’ve read some of Center’s earlier books and they are dependably readable and compelling, if a bit on the lighter side. When How To Walk Away opens, Margaret, a woman in her late twenties, is reluctantly boarding a private plane with her boyfriend, who has just learned to fly. While up in the air, they get engaged, and Margaret sees her perfect future ahead of her: dream job, dream guy, dream marriage. Then they hit an unexpected storm and he crash lands the plane, leaving Margaret paralyzed from the knees down and with third degree burns on her face and body. When she wakes up in the hospital after several surgeries, her life is completely different.
As I mentioned, Center’s books are generally light reading, and even though How To Walk Away deals with a serious topic, it was no exception. Margaret’s fiance turns out to be a selfish, terrible person, and he abandons her soon after the accident. She then faces a long recovery ahead, which she must go through without her partner at her side. But she soon develops a crush on her physical therapist, and it’s probably no surprise that they end up getting involved, despite facing several hurdles. I thought that Center’s depiction of Margaret’s spinal injury and recovery was pretty realistic – she clearly did her research – and to me that was the most compelling part of the book. I liked that Margaret wasn’t perfect and that she dealt with her injury in a pretty relatable way. Some subplots involving Margaret’s family were simplistic and a bit outlandish, but overall this was a satisfying vacation read. If you’re looking for a good beach book, give How To Walk Away a try.