The Bright Side of Disaster – Published 2006
“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.” – Goodreads
I think this is maybe Katherine Center’s first novel? It reads very much like her later ones, and I loooooved it.
Jenny is pregnant and her boyfriend/fiance really sucks. He’s a total mooch and has very few redeeming qualities, if any. He leaves her and she immediately goes into labor, so she’s suddenly alone with her first child with absolutely no clue what to do. Exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed, she finds friendship with her very cute neighbor who ends up being such a lovely presence in the novel.
This book is funny and sweet, like all of Center’s novels, but it’s also about motherhood, single parenting, standing up for one’s self, and so much more.