Friday, July 28, 2023

Happiness for Beginners by Katherine Center

A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, thirty-two, lets her annoying, ten years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It's supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother's even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can't imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls.

Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen's own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found.

Paperback,352 pages
Published September 1, 2020
 by St. Martin's Griffin
4.5/5 stars

Katherine Center, is not a new author for me, I discovered her last year when reading The Bodyguard, and am now slowly making my way through her back list. I jumped at the chance to read this one before the movie version comes out today on Netflix.

I went into this book blind, with no idea of what was going to take place. The story starts off right away as Helen (with an H) begins a journey that she hopes will lead to a stronger more confident self.  It's been a year since a messy divorce. Little does she know the obstacles that will come in her path along the way.

This is such a fun read for me. I finished it in a matter of days. Not only did Katherine Centre take me out into the wilderness but she did it with a great story, some wonderful dialogue which is always great in any book, all within a layered adventure. As with any Rom/Com, it isn’t always fun and games, but some hidden hurts of the past surface to provide healing.

As for the ending, and by ending I mean the epilogue. I really liked it, it was different in the sense it wasn't cheesy or too neat and tidy, but rather realistic and believable.

Definitely a book and author I recommend. Fingers crossed, the movie is just as good.

“I don’t think trying to be happy means you can never be sad,”
“It’s sadness that gives happiness its meaning.”

This book was part of my 2023 Reading Off My Shelf Challenge - #54

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