Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: Published June 26, 2007
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 fiancé, 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.
Continuing with my desire to read everything written by Katherine Center, I had to go back to her beginnings. The Bright Side of Disaster was her first published novel. Although, I do wonder about her Duran Duran fanfic :)
The Bright Side of Disaster is about a young pregnant woman, Jenny Harris. When the story begins, Jenny is staying home waiting for the arrival of her first child. Jenny is sure it's a boy. She's enjoying her pregnancy and she's happy and in love with her fiance, Dean. But her happiness won't last. Dean becomes distant and suddenly one day, he just leaves and never comes back. The day after, Jenny is in labor and all her careful birth planning goes out the window. Being a single mother is not easy. The painful birth, the lack of sleep, the battered nipples, the constant worry about this new life you have created are all things carefully brought in by the author.
There were many things I enjoyed about The Bright Side of Disaster. Katherine Center has a knack for making me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. Her characters can make me quite angry and some I wish I could hurt them physically. Dean was a perfect example. He was simply a bad man. A man who was not happy with his life and who was not mature at all. He thought Jenny was beneath him. He used her and left her high and dry when she was counting on him the most. A despicable man.
I hated that Jenny decided to sleep again with Dean. It was bad enough that she knew he wanted her friend instead of her back when they first met. I was mad enough when she let him stayed at her home but when she slept with him, I was furious. I also didn't like that Jenny decides to hide it from Gardner. He deserved the truth. Starting a relationship with omitted lies is not a good idea.
Other than Dean's parts at the end of the novel, the rest was quite enjoyable. I wished I had seen more of Jenny and Gardner together. Maybe after a year has passed.