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Review: Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

Title: Happiness for Beginners

Author: Katherine Center

Year Published: 2015

Category: Adult fiction (romance, adventure)
Pages: 320
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)USA (WY)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Helen Carpenter can’t quite seem to bounce back. Newly divorced at thirty-two, her life has fallen apart beyond her ability to put it together again. So when her annoying younger brother, Duncan, convinces her to sign up for a hardcore wilderness survival course in the backwoods of Wyoming―she hopes it’ll be exactly what she needs.

Instead, it’s a disaster. It’s nothing like she wants, or expects, or anticipates. She doesn’t anticipate the surprise summer blizzard, for example―or the blisters, or the rutting elk, or the mean pack of sorority girls. And she especially doesn’t anticipate that her annoying brother’s even-more-annoying best friend, Jake, will show up for the exact same course―and distract her, derail her, and . . . kiss her.

But it turns out sometimes disaster can teach you exactly the things you need to learn. Like how to keep going, even when you think you can’t. How being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes getting really, really lost is your only hope of getting found.

Happiness for Beginners is Katherine Center at her most heart-warming, captivating best―a nourishing, page-turning, up-all-night read about how to get back up. It’s a story that looks at how our struggles lead us to our strengths. How love is always worth it. And how the more good things we look for, the more we find.
Review: I am quickly learning that I will enjoy any Katherine Center book. I love that feeling. I have previously read Things You Save in a Fire, How to Walk Away, and What You Wish For, which were all good. I tagged Center in a tweet after finishing What You Wish For because there were 3 things in it that related to me: a character named Helen, a store called Murdoch's, the author went to Vassar (where my daughter attends). Center tweeted back that Helen has her own novel called Happiness for Beginners so, of course, I immediately got myself a copy.

I think this is my favorite of Center's books. There is romance, adventure, family drama, personal angst, and it moves along quickly. I finished this book in 2 days and loved every minute of it.

Center's writing style works for me, I like her characters (even the ones I wouldn't like in real life) and her stories are about real life. There is nothing that I can't picture happening or feelings I cannot imagine having, and her romances are always sweet. The world could do with sweet after the year we've all had.

So, if you'd like to get swept up in a well-told story about taking time to figure out what characters really want in life, this novel will sit well with you.

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