Author: Katherine Center
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Published: March 24, 2019
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: I did not realize this book even existed until I listened to Anne Bogel’s One Great Read Podcast last week. After listening to her discuss this, and knowing I have enjoyed Katherine Center before I decided to give Happiness for Beginners a shot, and I found completely delightful.
As soon as I started reading, I felt like I was reading the fictionalization version of Wild. Helen Carpenter decides to take a three week hiking trip after getting divorced, to regroup and get more of clarification on her life. Her brother’s best friend is also signed up for this course and the book just about starts with the drive down there.
At first the premise sounds great, and then get’s a little more romantic for what I wanted this story to be. However, this last third of this book completely redeemed this story, and it was exactly what I wanted this story to be the entire time.
My one critique is this did not need to be a love story. Not that there were not swoon worthy moments, but this book would have been so much more, if this was just about a woman’s self-discovery.
I will continue to read Katherine Center, as this was enjoyable, but if you are wanting something a little bit deeper, this is not that story.