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Extended Audio Sample This Was Not the Plan: A Novel Audiobook, by Cristina Alger Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cristina Alger Narrator: George Newbern Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9781442391642
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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.

Charlie Goldwyn’s life hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. Being a widower at age thirty-three and working 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, he is 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “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.”

    Marisa de los Santos, New York Times bestselling author

  • “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, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Cristina Alger invokes humor and heart with This Was Not the Plan."

    Watch magazine

  • “Alger takes the tired concept of work-life balance and turns it into a sparkling and heartfelt portrait of a single father finding his way.”


  • “Alger’s new novel of love, loss, and parenthood is readable and relatable…uplifting and memorable.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An engaging take on single parenthood from a man’s viewpoint.”

    Library Journal

  • “A breezy, uplifting read.”


  • A BookPage Top Pick of February 2016
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About the Author

Cristina Alger is a writer whose first novel The Darlings was published in 2012. A lifelong New Yorker and a graduate of Harvard College and New York University Law School, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney before becoming a writer.

About the Narrator

George Newbern is an Earphones Award–winning narrator and a television and film actor best known for his roles as Brian MacKenzie in Father of the Bride and Father of the Bride Part II, as well as Danny in Friends. As a voice actor, he is notable for his role as Superman on the Cartoon Newtork series Static Shock, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited. He holds a BA in theater arts from Northwestern University.