Beautiful and Heartbreaking, This Was Not the Plan by Christina Alger

March 27, 2017 // Posted by Becca in Reviews // 2 Comments

Beautiful and Heartbreaking, This Was Not the Plan by Christina AlgerThis Was Not the Plan
by Cristina Alger
Release Date: October 18th 2016
Publisher: Touchstone
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Find It: GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble
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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.

becca chats


I was very happy to receive This Was Not the Plan in the mail from Touchstone Publishing. The synopsis of the book immediately pulled me in and I was very excited to read this book.

This Was Not the Plan was such a heartbreaking story about Charlie, a 33 year old widower with a very unique 5 year old son Caleb and a job working very long hours at a law firm trying to make partner. After losing his wife, Charlie’s sister moves in to help him care for his son because of his very demanding schedule. After a drunken video of Charlie goes viral he finds himself without a job and having to deal with the son he has been neglecting and the loss of a wife he has still not coped with.

I found myself going through so many emotions as I read This Was Not the Plan, sadness, grief, anger and even hope and happiness with a little laughter thrown in. Charlie was not easy to like at the beginning, but as the story went on and he began to discover what was important in life, I found myself really liking him. I loved his son Caleb, he was so cute and quirky and such a bundle of joy and laughs. Although, losing his Mother at such a young age caused him to have some issues including anxiety and a fascination with natural disasters. I loved watching the progression of the relationship between Charlie and Caleb. It was so beautiful and made me believe in the strong connection of a Father and his Son.

This story flashes from the present to the past and encapsulates the events of Charlie and his wife Mira’s relationship from the very start until the end. I loved their relationship, they both seemed to really fit together and compliment each other. My heart truly broke for Charlie after all he had suffered with the loss of Mira.

There were many secondary characters that made up the story and each played an important part, Charlie’s sister Zadie who was such a positive light,  his friends, his absent Father, as well as a new love interest for Charlie that is largely a friendship. Each character made up a wonderful cast of characters that has stayed with me.

I really enjoyed the book, it was an easy read and flowed very well. I did have some trouble with the ending and epilogue because it left me with a lot of questions about the future. However, I was satisfied with the outcome of the book and it left me with a warm and happy feeling in the end. This Was Not the Plan definitely left me wanting to read more Cristina Alger books!

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  • This story looks like something thats going to make me feel all kinds of emotions, stories about widowers/widows always make me feel so heartbroken! Lovely review 🙂

  • First, the cover gives off this emotional look to the story and it looks like it IS heartbreaking! I love when books alternate between past and present because it gives more insight to the story. I’m glad this was a success for you, Lisa! Lovely review 🙂
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews