In Katherine Center‘s new novel, Happiness for Beginners, her character Helen wonders if she could change the story of her life. The result is this warm, funny, gripping novel where one woman pushes herself to limits she never expected she could reach and finds that she is the author of her own life story.
It was time. Helen Carpenter knew that. Thirty-two and divorced for a year, Helen knew it was time—past time—to pull herself together. She needed to do something wild and adventurous and completely out of character. Which is why she signed up for a wilderness survival course in Wyoming.
Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen’s well-behaved life: three weeks in a remote mountain range where she will survive a summer blizzard, a group of sorority girls, rutting season for the elk, and more than one infuriating man. Yet, despite the hardships and the indignities, the mountains bring their own wisdom to Helen’s life, somehow teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for yourself. How being scared can make you brave. How the things you hold on to become the story of your life. And, maybe most of all, how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you even have a hope of being found.
Katherine Center is the author of four bittersweet comic novels about love and family, including The Bright Side of Disaster, Everyone Is Beautiful, Get Lucky, and The Lost Husband. Her books and essays have appeared in Redbook, People, USA Today, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Houstonia, the Dallas Morning News, The Houston Press, and the Houston Chronicle, as well as the anthologies Because I Love Her: 34 Women Writers on the Mother-Daughter Bond, My Parents Were Awesome, and CRUSH: 26 Real Life Tales of First Love. Katherine recently signed a three-book deal with St. Martin’s Press. Happiness for Beginners went on sale March 2015, and her next one is in the works.