Get Lucky

Get Lucky

by Katherine Center

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345507914
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/06/2010
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 295,692
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Katherine Center graduated from Vassar College, where she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize, and received an MA in fiction from the University of Houston. She served as fiction co-editor for the literary magazine Gulf Coast, and her graduate thesis, Peepshow, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. A former freelancer and teacher, she lives in Houston with her husband and two young children.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


First: I got fired. For emailing a website with hundreds of pictures of breasts to every single person in our company. Even the CEO and chairman of the board. Even the summer interns.

Looking back, I may have been ready to leave my job. I'd like to give myself the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes the crazy things I do are actually very sensible. And sometimes, of course, they're just crazy.

I knew the company had just lost a high-profile sexual harassment lawsuit for some very big money. I knew we were now enforcing our zero- tolerance policy. I knew somebody somewhere in the chain of command was looking to make an example. But I didn't think about all that at the time. Here's another thing I didn't think about: I'd just nailed the ad campaign of a lifetime, and I was finally about to get promoted.

In my defense, it wasn't like these people had never seen a breast before. In fact, our whole agency had been awash in them for months. We'd just finished a national campaign for a major bra

company, and I'd led the creative team. I'd even come up with the concept-ads directing women to do all sorts of crazy things with their chests while wearing one of these bras.

"Dip 'em," one ad read, while our push-up-clad model leaned into a swimming pool, dunking her boobs in the water. "Scoop 'em," read another, while she pushed her boobs up toward her chin with two enormous ice cream cones. "Lauch 'em," ordered a third, as she arched her back up to the sky. And on and on: "Smack 'em," "Mug 'em," "Wash 'em," "Flush 'em," "Flash 'em," "Love 'em," "Lick 'em," "Leave 'em." I'd spent innumerable hours with those boobs-weekends, nights-working my butt off to turn them into the most famous cleavage in America. Which, by January, they'd become. No small feat.

The model for the campaign was nineteen years old and profoundly anorexic with the most enormous augmented chest you can imagine. I didn't even know her name, actually. We just called her "the Tits." She was a petulant teen who spent all her time between shots wearing earbuds and drinking lattes and then asking people for gum. The question "Do you have any gum?" will forever take me back to that summer. She was a pretty girl, though the freckles, bumpy nose, and squinty eyes would have required retouching. If we'd used her face. In the end, we zoomed in so close that her face didn't even come into the shots. When it came to bras, who needed a face?

That's really how I used to think. I'm not exaggerating at all.

If I sound crass here, that's because I was. If I sound unlikable, that's probably true, too. I was, at this point in my life, after six years in advertising, a person who needed a serious spanking from the universe.

And don't worry. I was about to get it.

I was proud of the ads. They were saturated with color, eye-catching, naughty, and delightful. Everybody was ecstatic, and I was strutting around the office like a diva. The Boob Diva. That was me.

But something was off. Being the Boob Diva wasn't as great as I'd expected. I'd been so underappreciated at that job for so long that when appreciation finally came, it felt false. Maybe I'd built up too many expectations. Maybe all the pep talks I'd given myself about my coworkers being idiots were finally kicking in. Or maybe external validation is always a little disappointing, no matter what.

The books I'd been reading weren't helping, either. I had a whole stack by my bed that chronicled the ways advertising was making us all miserable. Who knows why I kept buying them? It's a chicken-egg question. Did I hate my job because I was reading the books? Or was I reading the books because I hated my job? Either way, I couldn't get around what they had to say: That an economy based on buying stuff needed to keep us all dissatisfied and miserable, needed to keep us focused on what we didn't have instead of what we did, and needed to convince us that things like happiness and peace and beauty could be bought.

Not the greatest watercooler chitchat.

Later, it would occur to me to wonder if advertising in general was screwing over the entire world or if my firm in particular was screwing over just me. I certainly wasn't paid enough. Or recognized enough. Or appreciated. But questions like that are a long time in the making. First, I had to have a little thing we might call a breakdown. Or an epiphany. Neither of which was my intention.

Here's what happened, to the best of my recollection: The night before our big final presentation, my sister happened to send me an email link with the subject line "Boob-a-palooza!" Because I was too wired about the next day to go to bed, I clicked on it. And there, I found miles and miles of mug shots of anonymous breasts belonging to real women. No faces, no bodies, just breasts. Breasts au naturel. Breasts in the wild. Breasts as Mother Nature intended.

My sister just thought it was funny. But I had a different reaction: I could not stop scrolling through. I'd seen a lot of breasts on TV and in movies and on magazine covers in my life. Who hasn't? But I'd never seen anything like these real things. The variety was spellbinding. High ones, low ones, flat ones, full ones. Close together, far apart. Lopsided. Droopy. Walleyed. Googly-eyed. Water balloons. Bags of sand. Jellyfish. Cactuses. Bananas, prunes, and pickles. And this was the eighteen-to-thirty-two-year-old category. These were boobs in their prime.

Under each photo there was a caption written by the owner of the breasts. And each caption read something like this: "These are my breasts. They're pretty droopy (or lopsided or small or dimpled or ugly or embarrassing or pickle-shaped). Wish I could fix them." The comments ranged from vehement hatred to mild distaste, but nobody, absolutely nobody, said: "Here are my boobs. Aren't they great? I find them delightful, and hallelujah!" Nobody.

I was slated to hit the office at nine the next morning in my stilettos to present the "Boob 'em!" campaign to everybody who mattered. But instead of getting to bed early, as I'd planned, I stayed up until three in the morning browsing the photos. Something about the

realfiness of the pictures on the site underscored the fakeness of the boobs in our ads. Something about the dignity of the real things made our hyped-up things seem ridiculous. The whole campaign suddenly seemed brash and loud and stupid and just plain rude in a way that I couldn't ignore. How had I never thought about this before? We were about to put a picture of a woman's cleavage getting branded on every bus in America, for Pete's sake.

I thought about all the normal women who had taken off their bras for the cameras. I thought about the bravery of stepping forward with your own imperfections to help others feel better about theirs. And all at once I felt ashamed of being part of the problem. I scanned the site until the images and the words bouncing in my brain became a cacophony of women's dissatisfaction and despair, building louder and louder to a crescendo that I could not shush. That is, until four a.m., when I clicked Forward on my sister's email, selected the company-wide distribution list, and hit Send.

I sat back and nodded a little so-there nod.

Then, in the quiet that followed, I realized what I'd done, sat straight up, choked in a little breath of panic, and started looking for a way to unsend that email. Knowing all the while that there wasn't one. That's the truth about emails: You can't take them back.

In effect, I fired myself. Though the guy who actually did the firing- discreetly and several hours after our slam-dunk presentation-was a VP named J.J. who everybody called "Kid Dy-no-mite." Even though he wasn't dynamite at all, just another ad guy at Marston & Minx. A guy I'd started with six years earlier. A guy who'd been promoted over me based on work we'd done together. A guy I'd slept with back in the beginning until he called me a workaholic and broke things off. Now he was married to a girl who wore pink Bermuda shorts when she brought him lunches in a picnic basket at the office. But I guess I was even less dy-no-mite than he was, because I wasn't married to anyone, nobody ever brought me lunches, and now I was out of a job.

J.J. said, "I'm sure you know that email was inappropriate."

"Was it?" I said.

He gave a short sigh. "People were pretty offended. Yeah."

We were standing in the now-empty meeting room where our "Boob 'em!" campaign would later win promotions for seven people on our team. We were surrounded by enormous blowups of bra-clad breasts in every direction. Breasts larger than our bodies, in full color. Valleys of cleavage the size of La-Z-Boys. The "Steer 'em" ad showed boobs wrapped in barbed wire. "Munch 'em" showed them resting on a giant sub sandwich. And "Whip 'em" had a close-up of a whip just before impact.

"J.J.," I said. "Look around."

He looked around.

I said, "What does stuff like this do to real women?"

"Real women?" he said, cocking his head. "Real women are overrated."

Then he gave me a flirty smile, patted me on the shoulder, and told me the case was closed. It was lunchtime. He had a meeting. "Be graceful about it," he advised as we headed out. "And if you upload your own photo to that site"-he opened the door with one hand and pressed the small of my back with the other-"shoot me an email." Then he added, "You'd totally win that contest."

"It's not a contest," I said.

"Everything's a contest," he told me, and then he walked away.

Next: I went out drinking with my team to celebrate our success. I wasn't a big drinker, but it seemed like the thing to do. I didn't tell anyone that night that I'd been fired, and pretended instead, all the while, even to myself, that I was still their boss. They teased me about the website and insisted that it would blow over, and in some small way, I let myself believe them.

Because I didn't want to be by myself. I didn't want to walk back to my apartment quiet and lonesome and fired. The ride down in the elevator alone had been bad enough, as I'd watched the doors close on the last six years of my life. I knew where I'd been, but I had no idea where I was going, and as the elevator started to move down, I felt that drop in my stomach that you feel when you're falling. Except I couldn't even tell myself that I wasn't falling. Because really, actually, I was.

Here's a trick I've discovered for those moments when your life changes too suddenly to handle: Just ignore it. Ignore it for as long as you can. That was what I decided to do. I'd go home to Texas for Thanksgiving and not think even for one second about being fired until I was back in the city on Monday morning, scrolling through the want ads. Ignoring things doesn't fix anything, but it can buy you some time.

At some point, on the town that night, we all pulled out the last of several samples of gift bras the client had sent us and fastened them on over our clothes. Even the guys. After three glasses of wine and a mixed drink the bartender invented for us called a Double D, I felt relaxed in a way that I never, ever had-and optimistic about my new "freedom," like I was on the verge of a great adventure. As I shared bedroom trivia about Kid Dy-no-mite with our entire table-the Roller Derby fantasy, the Cagney and Lacey fixation, Elton John on continuous play-I found myself thinking, I should go out drinking more often.

Though at six the next morning, as I rode in the cab to Newark with my forehead pressed against the window glass, there was nothing about that night I didn't regret.

For the flight home, I had upgraded to first class using frequent flyer miles, and as we lurched through the Holland Tunnel, I clung to the idea of dozing off in one of those wide seats, a glass of Perrier on my tray table. The day before seemed almost like a bad dream, and I was ready to get as far away from it as possible. Home-always a tricky place for me-seemed like a refuge. And since I didn't have another one, I ran with it.

But when I got to the airport, they didn't have a record of the upgrade. And the seat I'd been assigned was in the very last row.

I said, "But I have a confirmation number!"

The airline lady clicked around on her computer, shaking her head. "Nope," she said. "Nothing." And then, as if that settled it, she said, "This confirmation number's not valid."

I was not feeling well. My head hurt, I was nauseated, I was unemployed. But I didn't complain. My roommate, Bekka, was a flight attendant. "Do you know what we do to the rude passengers?" she asked me once. "We reroute their bags to France."

In the end, I wound up thanking the lady for her help and proceeding to what was clearly the worst seat on the plane-one right against the bulkhead that didn't recline. I was also the very last person to board, and by the time I neared my seat, I was starting to sink. All I wanted was to fold myself into my little upright corner and snooze, but first I had to get past the people in my row. I was muscling my carry-on into the overhead bin as they unbuckled, stood up, stepped into the aisle, and waited. Then, just as I was scooting past and almost home, one of my rowmates spoke to me. We were belly-to-belly as I moved past him, and here's what he said: My name.

"Sarah," he said-and not like a question. Not like, Is that you? But more like: Sarah. Of course. When I paused to look up, there, inches away, was my high school boyfriend, Everett Thompson.

I had broken his heart. I had dumped him for an idiot soccer captain with beautiful calves. The last time I'd spoken to Everett, he'd been seventeen with a hoarse voice from crying. I could still almost hear it if I thought back. He had snuck over and camped outside my window that night, something that seemed sweet now, though at the time it had prompted me to call him a "freakazoid" the next day in the girls' bathroom.

But he'd bounced back. He went off to Stanford and NYU Law. He became a hotshot lawyer out in L.A. There was a rumor at one point that he was dating Mary-Louise Parker. My sister had called me about it and said, "Bet you feel pretty stupid for dumping him, huh?"

"Yep," I'd said.

"You could be Mary-Louise Parker right now," she'd said.

"Is that how it works?"

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Get Lucky 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
sacrain on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I was really surprised hwo much I liked this book! It's classic chick lit, but not as goopy as some of them are. The main chararcter is flawed (real) and while she tries to do the right thing, it's not always easy. Or possible. This would be a great book to read on vacation, on a plane, or on a snowy afternoon. It's an easy read and pretty compelling.
marcyjill on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. Get Lucky is the story of Sarah Harper, a young New York professional who accidentally gets herself fired from her job which happened to be her whole life. She then flees home to Texas to hide out with her sister, lick her wounds and figure out what's next. When she gets home she discovers that her sister has a problem of her own and she devises what seems like the perfect plan for them both. Of course we all know it can't work out that easily.The plot rolls on from there and is a thoroughly enjoyable story that does not disappoint. I loved all the characters -- especially a few of the minor ones and all-in-all this book made for a well-told, colorful story. I couldn't put the book down and was sad when it was over. It is a perfect vacation book, airplane book, or really anytime book. I will definitely read more from Katherine Center.
mountaingirl2 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I won this Advanced Readers Copy from the GoodReads first reads program. From the very first page I was hooked. I liked the fact that it was an easy "chick lit" read without being annoying to the point of hating the characters. It was over the top without overdoing it (if that makes any sense at all). While I enjoyed it, I think the ending could have come together a little bit better. It felt rushed to me. I plan to read this again so maybe I'll figure out what was missing next time...
kaneohe_mcas on LibraryThing 8 months ago
¿Get Lucky,¿ by Katherine Center is a good book for readers of any age. I read this book straight through. It is funny, but not over the top, and the characters are very realistic. Sarah Harper is having a bit of bad luck. She loses her job, and has a hard time finding her self-esteem she makes the decision to move back home to her sister and father in Houston. Once there, she realizes what she missed out on, especially once she has a chance meeting with an old beau. This guy turns out to be the one that she should have never let get away, but it is too late for her to make amends.Sarah is interested in renewing the closeness with her sister Mackie. Unfortunately, Mackie has tried for many years, but is unable to conceive. Sarah realizes that her sister can¿t have what she really wants in life, which is a baby. She also realizes the unhappiness that her father has over not having her mother. He has been unable to move on after the loss of their mother¿s passing away years before. The book gets lively quickly, when Sarah and Mackie concoct a scheme to solve the problem of Mackie not being able to have a baby. Sarah is at the center of the plan, and the best bits include Mackie¿s husband Clive, and their father¿s love interest Dixie, along with Sarah¿s old flame Elliott who rescues her more than once throughout the story.The story is grand and the reader will feel that each character has its own place in both Sarah¿s life and in their hearts. At the end of the story, I felt that I wanted to read more about all of them, and definitely didn¿t want the story to end.
knittingmomof3 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
From my blog...Get Lucky by Katherine Center is a delightfully charming, witty, and down-to-earth look at the lives of two sisters, Sarah and Mackie, and the life altering events that shape who they are. The story is told to the reader by Sarah beginning with how she managed to get herself fired and then ends up staying in Houston with her sister and brother-in-law, Clive, much longer than she ever expected. Center's characters are witty, strong, and quite likeable, especially Sarah, Mackie, and Dixie, making Get Lucky a smart feel-good novel that also happens to be introspective, deep, and philosophical. One cannot help be drawn into the lives of these remarkable women. Get Lucky is not only a feel-good novel, but a novel that makes one take stock in what is most important in life. Get Lucky is a great book for anyone looking for strong sister bonds, strong women, and epiphanies. It is my belief that Get Lucky would make an excellent choice for book discussion groups.
KatKealy on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I really enjoyed this book. I requested it because of the title. My dad always raised me (and my sister) with the idea that luck was something you could create for yourself. He's always been a lucky guy and raised us to be the same. Attitude really can be everything in life. Get Lucky is written in a style I enjoyed reading. It's written almost as if it's a letter to a friend about a time in her life looking back on how all the events unfolded. I like the style and will definitely be interested in reading this author's other books. I plan to send Get Lucky to my sister, since the book centers around the relationship between the main character and her sister, but I'll definitely recommend it to my other good friends who read, too. Give Get Lucky a chance - I think you'll enjoy it.
samaree on LibraryThing 8 months ago
After Sarah accidentally forwards a risque email to her entire ad agency, she loses her job. Heading home to Texas she decides that the only thing missing from her perfect sister's life is a baby - and she has just the uterus to grow it in. After developing inappropriate feelings for her brother-in-law, spurning a guy that would be perfect for her, and getting a job she is completely unprepared for, I completely lost interest in this character. I was very disappointed in this novel. I had no idea that the book centered around a surrogate pregnancy or I wouldn't have requested it. I'm sick of chick lit books that center around dysfunctional sister relationships and baby-as-panacea to marriage problems.
nicole on LibraryThing 8 months ago
In a word, Get Lucky is fantastic. There's a great sister dynamic between Sarah and Mackie. Sarah is the younger of the two (by a year) and lives a totally different kind of life in New York until she screws up at work. Sarah ends up back home where her married sister has just given up her dream of having a baby after six years of trying. As Sarah now has nothing going on, she thinks why not have a baby for her sister. And that's how Sarah's new life back home in Houston kicks off.Over the course of Sarah's surrogacy, she develops one inappropriate crush and another that could just lead to something more. She also tries her hand at a new career, attempts to fix things for someone she worked with in New York, and connects with her widowed dad's new love.It would've been a great story regardless, but the writing style really makes Get Lucky work. Sarah is reflecting on how the craziness (wonderful craziness) of the year happened. It seemed Sarah was confiding her private thoughts directly to the reader. I came away from Get Lucky feeling Sarah was my best friend.
bwightman on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. It centers around a woman who is fired from her advertising job in NYC and moves back to Houston, Texas and ends up being a surrogate for her sister and brother-in-law. It is a quick, light read, perfect for something to take with you on vacation. It doesn't pretend to be heavier or more meaningful than a typical "chick lit" novel, but is entertaining and easy to read. I enjoyed the characters, and though it was somewhat predictable, I found myself not really caring that I had guessed the ending because the story itself was a good read.
jennsbookshelves on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Sarah Harper works in advertising. She¿s working on a project that flaunts images of a scantily-clad woman¿s breasts. When she receives an email that flaunts this part of a woman¿s anatomy she does the unthinkable: she forwards the email to her entire company. Needless to say, the majority of the staff didn¿t appreciate the email as much as she did and she¿s terminated.Sarah was planning to go home to Texas and visit her sister Mackie and her husband. On the plane, she runs into someone she hasn¿t seen in over a decade: her high-school boyfriend, Everett. Sarah broke up with Everett when they were teens, breaking his heart. It¿s obvious that Everett has aged well, but he ruins this lovely reunion by making a snarky remark about Sarah¿s appearance. She fumes the rest of the plane ride, desperate to remove herself from Everett¿s presence.When she arrives in Houston, she learns that Mackie¿s attempts to become pregnant haven¿t been successful. In a possibly vulnerable moment, she offers to be a surrogate to Mackie and her husband, Clive. Sarah thought this wonderful experience would bring the two sisters together in a wonderful bonding moment, but that¿s not exactly the case. Her return to Houston brings up a whole host of emotions she hasn¿t dealt with in years. The girls lost their mother to cancer when they were young. You can blame it on the hormones: both girls suddenly begin to realize how much they miss their mother, Sarah in particular. When her mother passed away, she was forced to abandon the individual she was to become what was expected of her. Sarah begins a mission to understand just who she really is. Pairing that with being pregnant, the task wasn¿t an easy one.Get Lucky was a powerful and endearing story about the love between sisters and the love of one¿s self. I¿ve been a fan of Katherine Center¿s work from the start and this book just solidifies my love of her writing. Her characters are dynamic and multi-faceted. The reader gets to delve inside the mind and heart of each of the main characters. While each have very obvious and severe flaws, you can¿t help but love each and every one of them. While Get Lucky is considered chick-lit, realize it is much, much more than that. You¿ll laugh, you¿ll cry, you¿ll get angry; it¿s definitely a book that packs a punch and stays with you long after you¿ve turned the last page.
lyndsay on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book had me from the start. In fact, it got me reading (physically reading and not listening to a book on CD) again after my baby was born. That says something!
BookfanMary on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Sarah Harper not so accidentally sends a risqué email to her entire company and gets shown the door. She winds up in a last row seat next to an old boyfriend on a plane bound for Houston, her hometown. She stays with her sister Mackie who is also her best friend. Mackie and her husband Clive have tried to have children for years but pregnancy has always ended in miscarriage. Sarah makes an offer that is second only to donating an organ - she offers to be a surrogate. It's the first part of her plan to make a difference in life, to do more than create successful ad campaigns to sell bras.Coming home to Houston also presents Sarah with the opportunity to work through a few things from her past: the death of her mother when she was only twelve; the horrible way she broke up with the old boyfriend. She also faces the situation of her father being engaged to Dixie who is completely different from her mother.As in Everyone Is Beautiful, Katherine Center writes believable characters. Sarah and Mackie reminded me of my relationship with my sisters. We can love them or be mad at them but don't anyone else say a bad word about them! They would do anything for each other. I really enjoyed Sarah's perspective as she dealt with her post New York life - how she dealt (or didn't deal) with pregnancy, being jobless, and being relationship-less. I also loved Dixie. There is a scene involving Dixie and Sarah at a self-defense class that had me laughing out loud. But Dixie becomes much more than a wacky step-mother and is more a person who can shine a light on what is important in life.I'm not sure if Get Lucky would be considered Women's Fiction or Chick Lit but I do know if you're looking for a thoughtful and enjoyable novel about a young woman seeking a happier, more meaningful life, you should read Get Lucky.
alanna1122 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I had a mixed reaction to this novel. I really enjoyed parts of it. I had high expectations because Center's previous book - Everyone is Beautiful was one of my favorite books I read last year. I love that she took on the complexity of surrogacy as the main thrust of the plot. It is a subject I have never read about in this way and it was really a nice departure from regular novel fodder.The main character Sarah - isn't very likable. I wanted to like her. I wanted to be sympathetic to her - because I think her position was one that could have been really relatable - but I felt like although she had the courage to express all the negativity surrounding her choice - she never really expressed any positive feelings about her experience except in the most dismissive of fashions. Because of that I think her character doesn't ring as deep or as true as it could have. To me, she often seems - for a lack of a better word - just bratty. The other storylines were okay but a little far fetched and not as interesting to me. I found sometimes I was distracted by the lack of focus on Sarah's pregnant state. Getting a job that far along in a twin pregnancy was a little hard to believe - and jumping in the car and driving all over creation was equally hard to believe. Treating pregnancy at 8 months with twins as little more than a slight inconvenience was - well - not realistic to me. Anyway - all this to say - that while it wasnt a perfect book - it was very engaging and I flew through it. Even though I wasn't keen on the all of characters or some of the plot turns - I still would recommend it as a quick read for a vacation or a weekend.
CSMcMahon on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Sarah Harper has a great job in advertising in New York City, and then the next day she doesn't. One little email forward changes her life forever. She flees to Texas where she is going to visit with her sister and figure out what she is going to do with her life. Then a new plan is hatched. Sarah is going to be a surrogate for her sister. Throughout her pregnancy Sarah faces new challenges, grieving her long deceased mother, accepting a new stepmother, finding a new job, and finding love. Katherine Center does a wonderful job portraying the relationship between Sarah and her sister. It's easy to understand why Sarah would want to change her life for her sister. The supporting characters are quirky and provide for comic relief at times. This book is the perfect read for a rainy afternoon.
writestuff on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Sarah Harper has a great job. She lives in New York City. She has just finished up a huge bra advertising campaign and is looking at a promotion¿that is, until she sends an inappropriate email to everyone in the company. Jobless and disillusioned, Sarah jets off to her hometown of Houston to spend some time with her sister Mackie and within 24 hours comes up with an idea to fulfill her sister¿s dream of having a child. Sarah offers to be a surrogate for her sister and brother-in-law¿and although her heart is in the right place, she has no idea what she has gotten herself into.Get Lucky, Katherine Center¿s latest novel, is about mothers and daughters, the love between sisters (with all the conflict that entails), and searching for meaning in one¿s life while dodging the pitfalls. Center has hit a home run with Get Lucky, a novel with pitch perfect dialogue, wonderful characters, and Center¿s signature humor. There is no other author out there who does women¿s fiction better.What I especially loved about this book was the relationship between Mackie and Sarah ¿ two sisters who are still grieving the death of the mother who they lost in childhood. Mackie is the older sister¿married to the perfect guy and longing for a baby which has alluded her due to endometriosis. Sarah is the achiever, well put together, but with issues around intimacy ¿ specifically she avoids it. Different in temperament and lifestyle, Mackie and Sarah are also more than best friends.I should mention that my sister and I were close. We weren¿t best friends exactly, though ¿ because a best friend is a person you choose. A best friend, in most cases, is a temporary person, too, until she moves away, or gets a promotion and starts working too hard, or just drifts off. Friends depend on a certain amount of convenience. With friends, you have to have their number handy, or work in the same office, or live in the same city. With sisters, none of that matters. And in the end, for me, that would be a lucky thing. ¿ from the ARC of Get Lucky, page 15 -Center captures the relationship between sisters perfectly, with the small nuances which most people might miss¿and this is something I love about Center¿s writing: I feel like I know these people. Center takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary through believable dialogue and the ridiculous nature of life which often leaves us in situations which only later make us laugh. She keeps her readers reading because they can see themselves and the people they love within the pages of her novels.It was not just the relationship between Mackie and Sarah which engaged me. Center also introduces an old high-school boyfriend of Sarah¿s¿and despite a bit of predictability, I loved the tension and conflict, the dodge and parry, between these two characters. Some of the scenes between these two were the funniest in the book, and in the end, I found myself rooting for them.Center¿s novels work because they touch on the real issues and emotions which women face. In Get Lucky, there is laughter, tears, drama and, finally, wisdom.Of course, kisses can¿t change your personality. Or anesthetize life¿s pains. Or bring your mother back to you. Life is always a struggle between who you are and who you¿d like to be. It¿s always a negotiation between how you want it and how it is. There¿s no changing that. ¿ from the ARC of Get Lucky, page 261 -I loved this book¿by far, my favorite of Center¿s three novels (although they are all great). Readers who enjoy women¿s fiction will not want to miss this novel. Trust me.Highly recommended.
amaryann21 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Quirky and a little off-beat, but the relationships came through very realistically. Ms. Center definitely caught my attention and engaged me with her characters and fun plotline.
staffoa on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A good story about 2 sisters whose friendship crumbles when one moves back from NY to TX and becomes a surrogate for the other. I would have liked to see the author delve into the reasoning behind this fractured relationship a bit more. My favorite part of the book was how the author wrapped up the story...allowing the main character to come back in the last chapter and explain that not everything turned out perfect, as one would assume, but some things turned out pretty OK.
bearette24 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I didn't like this book as well as Katherine Center's two previous novels, but I did finish it in less than twenty-four hours. It's the story of Sarah, an advertising bigwig who loses her job, moves back home to Texas, and decides to be a "gestational carrier" for her sister, Mackie - without really knowing what she's getting into.I thought Center did a good job tracing the impact of a surrogate pregnancy on two sisters. The story did occasionally dip into farce, as when Sarah spends four days on the roof on an old building to try to save it. But, there were enough insights, "a-ha" moments and plain old good writing to make it worth it.
bermudaonion on LibraryThing 8 months ago
After successfully heading up a huge ad campaign, Sarah Harper is fired for sending an inappropriate email to everyone on her company¿s email list. With her tail between her legs, she heads home to Houston for Thanksgiving. The first thing her sister, Mackie, tells her is that she has given up on becoming pregnant and is ready to move onto a new phase in her life.Sarah plans to head back to New York after the holiday, but she comes up with a plan to help Mackie, so she ends up having to stay in Houston for a while. While she¿s there, she has to face some things from her past ¿ the death of her mother, an old boyfriend ¿ and learn to live with some changes that have occurred.I thoroughly enjoyed Get Lucky by Katherine Center. It was my first experience with Katherine¿s work, but it definitely won¿t be my last. I found her writing to be engaging, so I was drawn into the story right from the start.Even though Sarah¿s life is totally different from mine, I could totally relate to her. She wanted to be good and help others, but was also selfish in some ways. Sarah was struggling to find her place in life and her family, and I rooted for her all through her journey. I really liked the fact that the characters were so realistic in this story and I appreciate that not everything turned out perfect. The relationship between Sarah and Mackie was very true to life ¿ even though the sisters were close and loved each other, there was always an underlying tone of competition between them.A library places a role in Get Lucky as well, and I loved the fact that it¿s based on a real library. The information on Carnegie libraries in the book had me do a little researching to see if there¿s one near me, and I¿m sad to say there¿s not. This sweet story is a quick read and I do recommend it!
efoltz on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received a free copy of this book through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. Fast, good chick-lit book with a solid plot. Sarah loses her job after making a bad decision at work and ends up back at home in Houston, TX. Her sister has the prefect life except that she can't get pregnant. The sisters start talking and come up with the idea that Sarah become a surrogate for the pregnancy.
suedutton on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Get Lucky by Katherine Center. I received a free copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. At the beginning of this story, Sarah Harper loses her high-powered creative job at a New York advertising firm. She heads home to Houston to discover that her family is going through upheavals of their own ¿ in particular, her sister Mackie has given up on her dream of having children. Sarah comes up with a plan to help, and events quickly spiral out of her control. Add in an ex-boyfriend from high school (Everett), and changes in her father¿s personal life, and this delightful chick-lit novel spins toward the inevitable conclusion. I have read two other books by Katherine Center (Everyone is Beautiful is particularly recommended), and I find her voice and style very enjoyable. Read the first chapter ¿ if you like her writing style, you will enjoy this book, because it is consistent throughout and the story does not disappoint. This is a fun book, full of heart, and a great read.
KinnicChick on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Get Lucky is a third novel (due out April 6) by Katherine Center and is a fast reading breezy novel. I found my copy waiting outside my door on Monday of this week and was finished reading by that night. It was impossible to put down!The story revolves around Sarah, who gives up her high-powered New York career when she gets a conscience (this may or may not be an active decision... she gives up that career by forwarding an inappropriate email to the entire company) and heads back home to her family in Texas. It's here that the story really takes off.She stays with her sister, Mackie, who has just given up on having a baby after years of trying. That's when Sarah hatches the plan she thinks will make everybody happy.They say you shouldn't or cannot go home again. Going home for Sarah means confronting loss. She has to confront the memories of her dead mother, a father who is finally ready to move on in another relationship, and the loss of her career and figure out what is next in her life and maybe even in love.I really liked this quote especially: "Kisses in pools, clandestine affairs, fixations on brother-in-laws - these were the things we did to distract ourselves from what actually mattered. These were the soap operas of life, the melodramas, the mini crises that occupied our attention while famine, wars, and death raged across the human experience."I've not read any other Katherine Center novels, but Get Lucky makes me want to.In exchange for reading and reviewing this book I was sent a copy to keep as my own.
traciragas on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I love Katherine Center. I love the characters she creates; the stories she developed and I certainly loved her latest novel, Get Lucky. I ¿got lucky¿ when I received this book from Early Reviewers and I devoured it as quickly as I could. This was one of those books you want to read all the way through in one sitting, I didn¿t get to do that, but definitely could have.Sarah Harper has an advertising job in New York, but due to some unfortunate circumstances (all her own doing) she loses her job and moves back ¿home¿ to Houston. Seeing her sister disconsolate after her latest attempt at having a baby, Sarah makes the ultimate sacrifice ¿ serving as a surrogate mother.Katherine Center develops an abundance of amazing characters. She paints them in such detail that I had no problem seeing and understanding them. I loved this book! Anyone that loves stories about sisters, relationships and just understanding life and all it¿s pitfalls and comforts will feel the same way!
scoutlee on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Ms. Center became a part of my world last year after I read raving reviews for Everyone is Beautiful. Unfortunately I didn¿t get the chance to read it. When I heard her latest book would be released in the spring of this year, I immediately added my name to the wait list. My only regret is I waited to start reading her books.Get Lucky is a fascinating story between two sisters Sarah and Mackie. Sarah makes one careless decision which costs her her job. Uncertain what to do next, she flies home to spend the holidays with older sister Mackie. Mackie and her husband have attempted several times to conceive a child. When Mackie informs Sarah they have decided to give up, Sarah decides for once she will take care of Mackie and offers to become their surrogate. Little did each sister know the impact this will have on their lives.What I liked most about Get Lucky were the relational themes throughout the novel. At first glance, it¿s obvious the story is about sisterhood. Ms. Center delves deeper and explores parental relationships, the loss of relationships and forming new relationships. Just when we think everything is okay, the past has a nasty way of blindsiding us. Until that moment of sudden impact, little did we know it was there all along shaping us and protecting us in all our relationships. Center does a great job of examining the unhealed wounds of the past.So, yes I¿ll admit my first thought of Get Lucky was a quick, light read. But after reading the last page and closing the book, I realized it was much, much more than that. Take a lesson from me, don¿t wait to read a book by Katherine Center. Get Lucky was my first read, but will not be the last.
nnjmom on LibraryThing 8 months ago
You know when a book starts with the above lines you¿re in for a humorous ride ¿ especially when said book was authored by Katherine Center, whose previous novel, Everyone is Beautiful, was one of my favorite reads of 2009. Sarah Harper did indeed e-mail a link to an inappropriate website to her entire company ¿ but her heart was in the right place. Her intentions didn¿t count with the higher-ups, however, and Sarah finds herself out of a job.Sarah heads home to Houston to spend Thanksgiving with her sister, Mackie, and her father. After years of trying, Mackie and her husband, Clive, have given up on having a baby. Sarah, newly adrift and looking for a purpose, offers to be a surrogate mother for their baby. It seems like a wonderful decision, a selfless way for Sarah to give her sister what she wants more than anything else. What Sarah doesn¿t know is that this offer will stretch her in ways she never imagined, wreak havoc on her relationship with Mackie, and change the direction of her life.Ms. Center has a gift for capturing the interior world of her characters and as I read, I groaned with Sarah over her mishaps, cried with her when she was missing her mother, and rejoiced over her triumphs. As a woman with three sisters, I could relate to the complicated closer-than-friends relationship that sisters share ¿ a relationship that is full of as much frustration as it is love, but one that will stick around for life.There are a few authors who are able to find the perfect balance of humor and authenticity when writing fiction for women, and Katherine Center is one of them. She has become one of my must-read authors.