Katherine Center's novels are some of my favorite kinds - women's fiction with a few chick lit moments thrown in.
Helen, divorced for just a year, and trying to put her life back together, signs up for a wilderness survival course at the suggestion of her younger brother Duncan, who enjoys tormenting his big sister a little.
As she sets off, she discovers that her brother's best friend, Jake, is also going on the same survival course. Helen agrees to give Jake a ride, and she ends up enjoying Jake's company more than she ever imagined.
Over the course of the next three weeks, Helen does her best to stay alive, dealing with blisters, elk, and the many other hazards that become part of her daily life. And, she is forced to watch Jake, whose happy personality draws everyone to him, become a magnet for every girl in the group.
And Helen realizes she is jealous. And possibly in love.
Except even when she and Jake seem to be getting close, he tells her that a relationship isn't possible.
I kept reading as quickly as I could to see if Helen would finally find happiness with Jake, but Happiness For Beginners provides more than just a simple love story. Both Helen and Jake have their own tragedies to deal with from their past, and Center's latest novel is a great way to spend an afternoon.
As always, I am anxiously awaiting her next novel.