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The Resource The bright side of disaster : a novel, Katherine Center

The bright side of disaster : a novel, Katherine Center

Label
The bright side of disaster : a novel
Title
The bright side of disaster
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Katherine Center
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Jenny Harris is nesting in her Houston home with her fiance, Dean, awaiting the birth of their child, to be followed by their wedding. But Dean grows more distant, especially after a coworker dies in a plane crash, and Jenny ends up becoming a single mother. Determined to take good care of her child, she tries to forget about Dean, relegating him to the past. Coping with a baby takes all Jennys time, so when her perfect single neighbor takes an interest, Jenny is flattered but exhausted. Then, when she finally decides to take a chance and get to know him, Dean comes back into her life. In her stellar first novel, Center paints an accurate and humorous view of motherhood, from the physical changes to lack of sleep and exhaustion as well as the changes in friendships and feelings about men. -- Patty Engelmann (Reviewed 04-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 103, number 15, p26)
  • First-time novelist Center nails ornery and opinionated Texas women in this uneven tale of survival of the hardly fit. "It's not how you wanted it, but it's how it is," jilted and pregnant Jenny Harris is advised by her long-divorced mom. "Much of mothering is that way." Jenny's rock and roll wannabe fiancé Dean Murphy ditches her for a woman who died before he had the chance to sleep with her. ("I don't feel the same about you anymore. It's not my fault," he writes in his I'm-outta-here note.) Jenny has little time to nurse the heartbreak; baby Maxie is born the next day, and all Jenny's plans implode. What pulls Jenny through new mom hell is a network of bright, fearless women who thrive despite the bumbling men around them: Jenny's feisty mom with the "big Texas personality," blunt best friend Meredith and single-mom Claudia prove single women needn't be lonely, pathetic or poor. Yet this gaggle of sharp and funny supergals mostly falls apart when it comes to men. There's a rogue's gallery of thinly drawn louts, and from the rabble rises Jenny's dreamboat neighbor John Gardner, a pediatric nephrologist on sabbatical. Dean, of course, reappears, presenting Jenny with a not-difficult dilemma. Center's debut is fast-moving and pleasantly diverting, thanks to sharp dialogue and a narrative that's heavier on the sass than the diaper rash. (July) --Staff (Reviewed March 5, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 10, p33)
  • This debut novel from an award-winning writer and former coeditor of the literary journal Gulf Coast tells the story of Jenny Harris, a young woman preparing for an overdue baby and marriage when her fiancé leaves her. The narrative chronicles the end of her relationship, the beginning of her life as a single mother, and her methods of coping when her simple dream is shattered a day before it was set to begin. Naturally, an interesting man appears postbaby, though Jenny's interactions with him tend to lack depth. Jenny is at times a bit passive and deluded, particularly when the fiancé is still around, but she's also a charming and refreshingly optimistic character, maintaining her sense of humor and offering blunt observations regarding birth plans and sore nipples. This engaging, heartwarming protagonist/narrator keeps the novel afloat despite the clichés and contrived plot elements (e.g., her financial status after the baby's birth). Short chapters make this a quick read and a great book for the beach or summer vacation; fans of Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes will appreciate. Recommended for public libraries.—Amanda Glasbrenner, Chicago --Amanda Glasbrenner (Reviewed June 1, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 10, p107)
  • Ditched by her partner right before she gives birth, a young mother must decide whether to take him back or give a new love interest.In the realm of adult responsibilities, Houstonian Jenny Harris knows her fianc, Dean Murphy, comes up short. A retirement-benefits analyst who performs in a half-baked cover band, Dean still receives monthly checks from his well-heeled parents, smokes more than he should and moons over other women. He meets Jenny, in fact, while chasing a friend of hers, but when that doesn't pan out, they settle into a live-in relationship, and he proposes marriage. Getting pregnant before the wedding, Jenny frets about Dean's ambivalence toward impending fatherhood, especially after his peculiar response to a pretty coworker's death. While Jenny quits her job at an antiques store and organizes a garage sale to prepare for their child, Dean clings to band practice and gigs at local dives. One night he walks out, leaving her with a breakup note and a baby due any minute. Daughter Maxie brings unexpected joys and burdens, which newly single Jenny shoulders with the support of her divorced parents, best friend Meredith, other mothers from her childbirth class and an attractive neighbor named John Gardner. A pediatric nephrologist who has taken up renovating and selling houses, John has an uncanny knack for appearing when Jenny needs him most. Nurturing, attentive and good with Maxie, he keeps Jenny company in a blackout and paints her garage when she decides to start an antiques business. His unobtrusive courtship culminates in an evening of margaritas and salsa dancing. But then Dean returns, seeking reconciliation.Jenny's decision will come as no surprise, but this debut novel offers credible descriptions of first-time motherhood, affecting characters and situations and low-key charm. (Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
164211
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Center, Katherine
Index
no index present
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Unmarried mothers
  • Divorced parents
Label
The bright side of disaster : a novel, Katherine Center
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
249 p.
Isbn
9781400066377
Lccn
2006051036
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o71552481
  • (OCoLC)71552481
Label
The bright side of disaster : a novel, Katherine Center
Publication
Dimensions
25 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
249 p.
Isbn
9781400066377
Lccn
2006051036
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o71552481
  • (OCoLC)71552481

Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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