The first Katherine Center novel I read was the Bright Side of Disaster. I immediately fell in love with her writing style and wit. Her characters were engaging, relatable and I wanted to be their friend. The stories sucked me in every single time. So, when I saw her new book, Happiness for Beginners, I knew I had to read it.
Those that know me know that when I pick up a book it is either impossible for me to put down and I devour it in a matter of days or it is impossible for me to finish and I struggle through to the last page over a month or two. In the case of Happiness for Beginners, I devoured it in a matter of three bedtime reading sessions. The night I finished it, I ignored my exhaustion (this little human I am growing is a tiny energy sucker) and my husband’s tales of his work day and eagerly turned each page. Two hours past my (admittedly lame) bedtime, I finally finished. It’s been a while since I read a book ending as satisfying as this one.
Helen’s (and sometimes Ellen, depending who is addressing her) character was another one of Center’s highly relatable and engaging characters. She isn’t perfect, but she is trying to find out who she is and to take control of her life. As she embarks on her journey on a highly dangerous wilderness survival trip – the kind that has been known to cause deaths but is under new management, so it’s all good – Helen is determined to make every step of her journey count.
Along the way, Helen slowly starts to open her eyes to those around her and her past. Whether it’s the wilderness hike or her new found appreciation for Jake, her little brother’s annoying best friend, that finally opens her heart and mind up, is up to the reader to decide. I’d like to think it’s a little of both and Helen herself.
Either way, Happiness for Beginners was both entertaining and satisfying. I highly recommend not only checking our this novel by Katherine Center, but also checking out the rest of her novels.