This Was Not the Plan: A Novel (Paperback)
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Girls Like Us comes a “funny, bittersweet, and ultimately uplifting look” (Sarah Pekkanen) at fatherhood, love, and family life.
Charlie Goldwyn’s life hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Widowerhood at thirty-three and twelve-hour workdays have left a gap in his relationship with his quirky five-year-old son, Caleb, whose obsession with natural disasters and penchant for girls’ clothing have made him something of a loner at his preschool. The only thing Charlie has going for him is his job at a prestigious law firm, where he is finally close to becoming a partner.
But when a slight lapse in judgment at an office party leaves him humiliatingly unemployed, stuck at home with Caleb for the summer, and forced to face his own estranged father, Charlie starts to realize that there’s more to fatherhood than financially providing for his son, and more to being a son than overtaking his father’s successes.
At turns heartbreaking and hilarious, This Was Not the Plan is a “sparkling and heartfelt” (Bookpage) story about loss and love, parenthood, and friendship, and what true work-life balance means.
About the Author
Cristina Alger is a lifelong New Yorker and bestselling author of The Darlings, This Was Not the Plan, The Banker's Wife, and Girls Like Us. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU Law School, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney before becoming a writer. She lives in New York with her husband and children and is at work on her next novel.
"This Was Not the Plan has everything I love in a story: wit; fresh, stunningly human characters; pitch-perfect sentences; piercing emotion; a big, gorgeous mess of a family; and a big, gorgeous heart. As soon as I finished, I wanted to read it again." —Marisa de los Santos, author of The Precious One
"I love the writing of Cristina Alger. Her characters are complex and beautifully drawn. I lost myself in This Was Not the Plan."—Elin Hilderbrand, author of The Rumor
"Note to reader: clear your schedule before you start this book, because you won't be doing anything else till you finish it." —Jeff Arch, screenwriter (“Sleepless in Seattle”)
"With compassion and humor Cristina Alger delves into the lure of the 1%, while deftly exposing the cost that life exacts—a cost beyond price."
—Nicola Kraus, coauthor of The First Affair
"A funny, bittersweet, and ultimately uplifting look at parenthood through the eyes of a single father. You won't just root for these characters—you'll fall in love with them."—Sarah Pekkanen, author of Things You Won’t Say
"Alger’s (The Darlings) new novel of love, loss, and parenthood is readable and relatable...uplifting and memorable."
— Publishers Weekly
“This Was Not the Plan proves a delightful read about parenting, love and plans gone awry."
— Associated Press
"[A] fast-paced, laugh-out-loud novel.”
— San Francisco Chronicle
"A breezy, uplifting read."
"Alger's darkly comic novel offers an engaging take on single parenthood from a man's viewpoint."
— Library Journal
"A big, heartfelt book that reads like your favorite sitcom....Charlie’s evolution to a secure, confident, stay-at-home dad is wonderfully satisfying, and he is as relatable as Will Freeman in Nick Hornby’s About a Boy.”
"Cristina Alger invokes humor and heart with This Was Not the Plan."
— Watch Magazine