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How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

How to Walk Away by Katherine CenterHow to Walk Away by Katherine Center
Published by St. Martin's Press on May 15, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 302
ISBN: 9781250149060
Source: Purchased



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.

Spiritual Content

The mention of a church and chapel and phrases like “all hell was breaking loose” and “God did not give me all this strength for nothing” are as spiritual as How to Walk Away gets.


The only violence in How to Walk Away is when Margaret recalls that “my grandfather had been shot in the eye with a BB gun as a kid,” when Ian blocks a punch from Myles, and when Ian tells Margaret that “the night the Oscars were on. . .a teenage boy walked into the grocery store with an assault rifle and opened fire. He shot a security guard, two checkers, and two people standing in line. . . before he shot himself.” That said, though they’re not a result of violence, Margaret’s injuries from the plane crash and her subsequent medical treatment are described in vivid detail.

Drug And Alcohol Content 

Margaret recalls her and Chip’s mothers “drinking wine on the patio and gossiping” and that at “a Fourth of July party three summers ago,” her sister “had been drinking that night, as she often did.” Aside from that, Chip turns up drunk at the hospital after “he’s been out all night drinking,” and later, Margaret, Kitty, and their mom drink champagne and wine.

The only drugs referenced throughout How to Walk Away are used for medical treatment, including, but not limited to, morphine and “massive doses of acetaminophen, Valium, Cipro, nizatidine, OxyContin, Clonis, Maalox, and a blissful little substance that makes you forget everything called Versed.”

Sexual Content

There are many sexual references in How to Walk Away, including, but not limited to, passing mentions of “making babies,” “forbidden sex,” and “accidentally screw[ing] a guy called Fat Benjamin.” Aside from these, there are three kisses between Margaret and Chip: two descriptive and one non-descriptive. Margaret and Ian make out once and kiss twice: one descriptive and one non-descriptive.

Swearing Or Foul Language

  • 45 uses of h-ll
  • 19 uses of f-
  • 12 uses of da-n
  • 12 uses of sh-t
  • Seven uses of a-
  • Two uses of p-
  • One use of b-ch

The Bottom Line 

A humorous and inspiring read with a light sprinkling of romance, How to Walk Away could be a five-star read for some. But, the romance (and all the characters except for Margaret and Kitty) fell a bit short for me, lost in Margaret’s recovery process and drowned out by her repetitive — albeit inspirational — lessons about life.

About Katherine Center

BookPage calls Katherine Center “the reigning queen of comfort reads.” She's the New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including The Bodyguard, How to Walk Away, and Things You Save in a Fire.

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