How do you change your luck? Katherine Center’s marvelously entertaining and poignant new novel is about choosing to look for happiness--and maybe getting lucky enough to find it.
Sarah Harper isn’t sure if the stupid decisions she sometimes makes are good choices in disguise--or if they’re really just stupid. But either way, after forwarding an inappropriate email to her entire company, she suddenly finds herself out of a job.
So she goes home to Houston--and her sister, Mackie--for Thanksgiving. But before Sarah can share her troubles with her sister, she learns that Mackie has some woes of her own: After years of trying, Mackie’s given up on having a baby--and plans to sell on eBay the entire nursery she’s set up. Which gives Sarah a brilliant idea--an idea that could fix everyone’s problems. An idea that gives Sarah the chance to take care of her big sister for once--instead of the other way around.
But nothing worthwhile is ever easy. After a decade away, Sarah is forced to confront one ghost from her past after another: the father she’s lost touch with, the memories of her mother, the sweet guy she dumped horribly in high school. Soon everything that matters is on the line--and Sarah can only hope that by changing her life she has changed her luck, too.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"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 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
Lanie Coates's life is spinning out of control. She's piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She's left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life-all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.
These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last-and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it's the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she's willing to count since the day she said "I do," Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It's time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.
Lanie sets change in motion-joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.
Katherine Center's Everyone Is Beautiful is a hugely entertaining, poignant, and charming new novel about what happens after happily ever after: how a woman learns to fall in love with her husband-and her entire life-all over again.
From the Hardcover edition.
Perfect for fans of Jennifer Weiner and Emily Giffin, this tender and heartwarming novel explores the trials of losing what matters most--and how there’s always more than we can imagine left to find.
Dear Libby, It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for--Dear Lord!--two whole years, and I’m writing to see if you'd like to be rescued.
The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who--after the sudden death of her husband, Danny--went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape: a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.
Life on Aunt Jean’s goat farm is both more wonderful and more mysterious than Libby could have imagined. Beyond the animals and the strenuous work, there is quiet--deep, country quiet. But there is also a shaggy, gruff (though purportedly handsome, under all that hair) farm manager with a tragic home life, a formerly famous feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Danny “on the other side,” and the eccentric aunt Libby never really knew but who turns out to be exactly what she’s been looking for. And despite everything she’s lost, Libby soon realizes how much more she’s found. She hasn’t just traded one kind of crazy for another: She may actually have found the place to bring her little family--and herself--back to life.
Praise for The Lost Husband
“A sweet tale about creating the family you need.”--People
“A heartwarming novel that explores the trials of losing what matters most.”--USA Today
“[Katherine] Center writes endearingly of love and family in her fourth novel, with lessons about loss, gain, standing up for oneself, and accepting that your best is good enough. Fans of well-crafted romantic women’s fiction won’t be disappointed.”--Booklist
“A novel about family, love and forgiveness . . . heart-rending and heartwarming.”--Kirkus Reviews
From the Trade Paperback edition.