THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN, by Cristina Alger, is a study of fatherhood , love, grief, and friendship. It’s hilarious in parts, with plenty of room for reality.
Charlie Goldwyn is working night and day to make partner at the very prestigious law firm he’s worked at for ten years. He’s been working 72 hours straight, needs a shower, and is about to sneak away home to have dinner with his five-year-old son, Caleb, when he is literally shanghaied into attending an office party; the last place he needs to be right now. After tossing down a few strong drinks on an empty stomach you can almost write the next step, yourself. He’s asked to make a speech about the high-powered case he’s just won. And, he does, but it turns out to be his “Jerry Maguire” moment, and then it goes viral when it turns up on YouTube. Ugh.
What you don’t yet know is that Charlie is a single dad. He’s raising Caleb with the help of his twin sister. They’re not the usual family. Both are 33 and unmarried. Zadie is wonderful with Caleb. And Caleb needs wonderful. He’s not your run of the mill kid. Caleb loves to dress up in sparkly girls’ clothes. And he’s fixated on natural disasters. You see, Caleb’s mom was killed tragically in an accident that Charlie feels responsible for.
But it’s not all sad. Yes, there is grieving. But many of the scenes in this delightful novel are laugh-out-loud hilarious. I kid you not. Charlie must face the facts, and his future. What does he really want out of life? And he’s looking into his non relationship with his own father who enters the picture for the first time late in Charlie’s life.
What starts out to be a story about revenge, ends up being a story of learning balance and accepting what is right in front of your face.
Cristina Alger is the acclaimed author of THE DARLINGS, which I adored a couple of years ago. She knows NYC. And you will surely feel you are walking a mile in her shoes here.
I adored THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN. I think you will too. My review copy came from the generous people at Simon and Schuster. Thanks guys.