Friday 2 February 2024

Book ~ "Happiness for Beginners" (2015) Katherine Center

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Helen is 32 and a school teacher. She's been divorced for a year and is looking for something to shake up her life. So she signs up for an extreme three week wilderness survival course, which is way out of her comfort level. Then she discovers that Jake, her younger brother's friend, has also signed up and begrudgingly gives him a drive. 

Once on the trail, she does indeed discover that she is out of her element because everyone is much younger than she is and she has nothing in common with them, the leader, who is barely out of his teens, seems to dislike her and the terrain and camp life is a lot rougher than she thought. But as the days progress, Helen discovers she is tougher than she thought she was, both physically and emotionally.

This was a cute story. I liked the writing style (it's a quick read) and it's written in first person perspective in Helen's voice. You'll never find me on this kind of a survival course! I'd seen the Netflix movie they'd made based on the book last year and was curious to see how close they would be to each other ... they are kind of are but aren't. There is a bit of swearing.

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