Dawson’s second novel (The Stuff That Never Happened, 2010) is a delightfully witty story of a 44-year-old first-time mother-to-be.
Rosie and Jonathan are beloved by their friends, although they dance to their own awkward beat. They’ve stayed unmarried for 15 years, have escaped the stickiness of children and remind themselves they like things just the way they are—until Jonathan gets an offer to help open a museum dedicated to teacups. Jonathan, whose favorite word is “no,” is now saying yes to San Diego and to something that sounds like an adventure. But Rosie likes Connecticut, her friends and teaching ESL; furthermore, she can’t imagine building a life around the star power of porcelain. And then there’s Soapie, Rosie’s 88-year-old grandmother, who raised her and has recently been forgetting things. However, Soapie insists she doesn’t need a nurse since, surprise, she has Tony and George to help. Tony is a nice young man who has moved in to mix cocktails, garden and pick Soapie up off the floor, and George is Soapie’s geriatric lover. Rosie plans for the move to San Diego (Jonathan is going with or without her) but at the last minute decides not to go: She’s had enough of Jonathan’s myopic selfishness. He drops her off at Soapie’s on his way out, and two weeks later, Rosie discovers she is pregnant. Everything seems impossible to handle (including Jonathan, who insists on an abortion), and Rosie would implode if not for Tony, who is kind, goofy and the most sweetly optimistic person Rosie has ever met. Tony has his own problems—his wife left him for her best friend, and now the two mommies won’t let him have shared custody of his son, Milo—but he is still by Rosie’s side. Tony may be just the guy for her. Then Jonathan calls from San Diego, begging her to join him so they can be a real family.
A messy, funny, surprising story of second chances.