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The Bright Side of Disasterby Katherine Center
Synopses & Reviews
Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is exactly what youve been waiting for.
Very pregnant and not quite married, Jenny Harris doesnt mind that she and her live-in fiancé, Dean, accidentally started their family a little earlier than planned. But Dean is acting distant, and the night he runs out for cigarettes and doesnt come back, he demotes himself from future husband to sperm donor. And the very next day, Jenny goes into labor.
In the months that follow, Jenny plunges into a life she never anticipated: single motherhood. At least with the sleep deprivation, sore boobs, and fits of crying (both hers and the babys), theres not much time to dwell on her broken heart. And things are looking up: Jenny learns how to do everything one-handed, makes friends in a mommy group, and even gets to know a handsome, helpful neighbor. But Dean is never far from Jennys thoughts or, it turns out, her doorstep, and in the end she must choose between the old life she thought she wanted and the new life shes been lucky to find.
“Beautifully penned and truly memorable . . . a heartwarming and deeply emotional debut.”
“The Bright Side of Disaster is a treat of a book. It is so warm, so smart, so touching, so wise-and, despite its poignancy, you read the whole thing with a laugh in your throat.”
-Anna Maxted, author of A Tale of Two Sisters
“Novels as polished and mature as The Bright Side of Disaster just dont come along very often from first-time novelists or, for that matter, from those with much longer résumés. . . . This story of a youthful-but-optimistic single mom rings bittersweet and utterly authentic.”
-The Dallas Morning News
“A funny and poignant novel about love, motherhood and men . . . elevates the subject matter beyond the realm of ‘mommy lit. ”
Dont miss the reading group guide in the back of the book.
Offers credible descriptions of first-time motherhood, affecting characters and situations and low-key charm.-Kirkus Reviews
Stellar . . . Center paints an accurate and humorous view of motherhood.-Booklist
Jenny Harris always expected that she'd fall in love, get married, and have a baby-in that order. Now, very pregnant and not quite married, she actually doesn't mind that she and her live-in fiance, Dean, accidentally started their family a little earlier than planned; she's happy to have so much to look forward to. But Dean-whom Jenny loves enough to overlook his bad facial hair, his smoking habit, and his total commitment to a cheesy cover band-is acting distant, and not in a pre-wedding-jitters kind of way. The night he runs out for cigarettes and just doesn't come back, he demotes himself from future husband to sperm donor.
And the very next day, Jenny goes into labor.
In the months that follow, Jenny plunges into a life she never anticipated: single motherhood. At least with the sleep deprivation, sore boobs, and fits of crying (both hers and the baby's), there's not much time to dwell on her broken heart. And things start looking up. She learns how to do everything one-handed, makes friends in a mommy group, and even manages to give dating tips to her sweet, clueless father-who's trying to court her sassy mother again, fifteen years after their divorce. She also gets to know a handsome, helpful neighbor-with a knack for soothing babies-who invites her out dancing. But Dean is never far from Jenny's thoughts or, it turns out, her doorstep, and in the end Jenny must choose between the old life she thought she wanted and the new life she's been lucky to find.
A spirited debut novel with a terrifically appealing voice, a fantastic sense of humor, and a lot of heart, The Bright Side of Disaster reminds us that sometimes it takes the worst-case scenario to show us the best in everything.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Katherine Center graduated from Vassar College, where she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize, and received an MA in fiction from the University of Houston. She served as fiction co-editor for the literary magazine Gulf Coast, and her graduate thesis, Peepshow, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. A former freelance writer and teacher, she lives in Houston with her husband and two young children.
From the Hardcover edition.
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