At thirty-nine, movie critic Mary Pols knew she wanted to have a baby. But never—not in a million years—on her own. To take on the physical, emotional, and financial challenges of motherhood without a perfect soul mate/husband would be absurd, kind of like not bothering to use a condom during a one-night stand with an adorable but jobless guy ten years her junior.
Pols spends the ensuing weeks despairing over everything, from the financial nightmare of single motherhood to the end of her hopes for a traditional life. Not the least of her worries is finding the right way to drop the bombshell on loved ones, including her five siblings and eighty-four-year-old father, who has a German temper and an Irish Catholic attitude toward babies out of wedlock. Yet faced with the frightening, lonely truth that this might be her only chance at motherhood, she plunges ahead with the pregnancy and an Odd Couple version of a co-parenting relationship that looks like one more disaster in a long line of romantic disappointments. But even as she tries to give her son’s young father a radical makeover, she realizes that his devotion and love for their child matters more than his spotty résumé or his inability to remember to put oil in the car. With humor, insight, and compelling honesty, Pols reveals what it means to compromise in the name of love and to find joy in an accidental life, suddenly brimming with purpose.