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From the acclaimed author of The Darlings comes an incisive, hilarious, and tender exploration of fatherhood, love, and family life through the story of a widower who attempts to become the father he didn’t know he could be.

The Was Not the PlanAvailable February 2, 2016

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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 story about loss and love, parenthood, and friendship, and what true work-life balance means.

Praise for This Was Not the Plan: 

"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

"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