I've been trying to get around to reading one of Katherine Center's novels for a while. Get Lucky was a pretty good place to start. The novel trods on some serious territory, but with a light touch, and features an appealing - if sometimes frustrating - leading character.
Sarah Harper is a woman who fully invests herself in whatever she's doing - one thing at a time. For the last several years, that singular focus has been applied to her New York City advertising career - most recently, to a bra campaign that looks like it could be her biggest triumph ever. Unfortunately, the triumph is dampened by her being fired the day the campaign is unveiled - even though the e-mail she sent the entire company the night before was vaguely related to the project, it was still highly inappropriate.
But Sarah does tend to act on impulse. Returning home to Houston for the holidays just after being fired, she learns that her sister Mackie has been forced to end her own singular-focus project - trying to get pregnant. It isn't long before Sarah comes up with an idea that will give her a new focus and benefit her sister, too. Surrogate parenthood probably isn't something that should be entered this impulsively, but it's certainly well-intentioned. As her due date approaches, her impulsiveness and good intentions bring Sarah a new job...and the possibility of a very different future.
The story is told through Sarah's first-person narration several years after these events, and Sarah's reflection on them from that perspective is where much of the humor and insight in the novel comes through - looking back, she can see much more clearly how much she didn't see at the time. Many of the complications Sarah didn't foresee are rather obvious to the reader, though - they were to me, at any rate, but that didn't spoil my enjoyment, because I liked Sarah.[
The structure of the book reflects Sarah's "one thing at a time" focus, and I appreciated that the main objects of that focus were her work and her relationship...with her sister. Sisterhood is powerful and often complicated even under the best conditions, and while carrying a pregnancy for your sister is certainly an act of devotion and generosity, it's also pretty risky. I liked the way Center explored Sarah and Mackie's relationship.
Get Lucky was a quick read, one that made me chuckle, made me think a little, and drew me into the lives of its characters.