BrightSideofDisasterWhat happens to a woman on the verge of giving birth, while her fiancé continues acting as if he is still an adolescent boy? The answers form the story that follows, in a somewhat predictable pattern…boy-man goes out for cigarettes and doesn’t return; woman goes into labor the next day; and the saga of treading water in the single mom’s world, while trying to recover from heartbreak, could be just another predictable tale.

But Jenny Harris, our single mom, adds that extra spark–her humor, her tenacity, her all-encompassing love–and we find ourselves rooting for her from the very first moment.

Even before the “cad” leaves, we can see the handwriting on the wall and know that he will disappoint. He lolls around the house, sleeping until noon; he stays out late with his boys playing music; he doesn’t lift a finger to help his hugely pregnant fiancée set up for the garage sale they’re having. So, in a way, we’re kind of glad that he leaves. He isn’t anything to write home about.

The challenges Jenny faces, even with the support of her “new mommy” group, remind us all of the difficulties we’ve faced in life. We hope and believe that she will triumph.

So what happens to Jenny, once she has accepted that fiancé Dean is not coming back? Does she finally realize that she doesn’t want him back, and will she bravely forge new relationships? Or will she totally focus on her baby, this new love who consumes her time and attention?

Discovering what happens next kept me reading until the final page. The Bright Side of Disaster: A Novel is not one of those books that we’ll clamor about for days to come, but it is thoroughly enjoyable and definitely rates four stars. Perhaps even four-and-a-half.