Title: Happiness for Beginners
Author: Katherine Center
Published: March 2015
Summary: Helen is a 32-year-old divorcee who has spent the past year in stagnation with her chippy little pup, Pickle. She has decided she needs to give her life a jump start by heading out on a dangerous hiking adventure with a notoriously difficult program. Her journey isn’t pretty or exactly what she expected, but she just might get everything she needs out of it.
Why I Am Recommending: The sign of a good book is when you spend every moment away from it yearning to be enveloped back in its pages. That is the feeling I had when I read this immensely satisfying, heartwarming book. Helen is very likable and the voice that Katherine Center gives her is vulnerable and spot-on. I was laughing out loud at some of the predicaments Helen found herself in and tearing up at the tender ones. There were many instances when the book was straight up funny. The humor as well as the fun and often sweet relationships she develops had me smiling the whole time I read this book. It was addictive. Let’s talk about the hiking. I would never in a million years go on an adventure like Helen, but I found her trip so compelling. Center does not shy away from the indelicacies of hiking for 3 weeks in the wilderness as a group. There was no bathing allowed, no shaving, no use of plumbing, no privacy. Not that I know much about that type of activity, but it seemed like Center did a lot of research on the reality of hiking in such an intense way. It was sort of like the romantic comedy version of Wild. Lastly, there was the slow-burn, tension filled, sweet as pie relationship that exists in this book. I was totally stepping right beside Helen as she dealt with the internal battle of her feelings and her need to have this life changing journey. There was so much to like about this book, and everything I was hoping to snuggle up on the couch with as the weather has turned chilly. Enjoy!