Jenny Harris and her fiance, Dean, began planning their wedding a year in advance. But two months later Jenny discovers she is pregnant and is due a month before the wedding date. Jenny's sophisticated, savvy mother takes the pre-wedding baby news in stride, but Jenny's fiance doesn't handle the news quite as well, becoming more and more withdrawn as the due date draws near. Dean leaves one night to get cigarettes and doesn't return, leaving Jenny alone to give birth to their baby.
Jenny rides the highs and lows of post-pregnancy hormones, breast-feeding difficulties and sleep deprivation all common experiences for new mothers. Yet, Jenny undergoes change that is tangible and real as she soon discovers that her focus has completely shifted from herself to her baby Maxie, whose care consumes her every thought and waking moment.
Houston author Katherine Center's writing flows effortlessly, drawing the reader into Jenny's story as she falls more in love with her baby every day. Jenny's transformation from pregnant woman to mother is enlightening and emotionally touching. As she learns to weather life's physical and emotional demands without the support of Dean, Jenny's ability to move forward in life is creatively contrasted against Dean's regression and his inattentiveness towards his new family.
The author adds depth to this novel with the burgeoning relationship between Jenny and her neighbor, Gardner, a former physician who now makes his living remodeling and reselling homes. A comfortable friendship develops between the two, as he helps revamp her garage in exchange for home-cooked meals. With the possibility of romance blooming between them, Jenny realizes that the physical attraction she shared with Dean lacks the substance of her relationship with Gardner. Beautifully penned and truly memorable, The Bright Side of Disaster is a heartwarming and deeply emotional debut.