This Was Not the Plan by Cristina Alger

Charlie Goldwyn likes to have a plan. His wife, Mira, being killed in a plane crash certainly wasn’t part of the future he envisioned. Charlie’s method of coping is to throw himself even more into his work as a corporate lawyer at a big firm, spending increasingly less time with his son, Caleb. When one drunken moment of honesty puts his career at risk, Charlie’s twin sister suggests that getting fired might be exactly the right thing for Charlie. With some time away from work and the upcoming Hamptons wedding of his sister, who is also Caleb’s caregiver, Charlie begins to appreciate what he’s been missing. Cristina Alger’s sweet, amusing, and heartwarming story about a single father and an untraditional family strikes all the right notes about love, family, forgiveness, and losing sight of what really matters. Flashbacks to Charlie’s life with Mira are used effectively and the story maintains just the right amount of tension as Charlie tries to figure out whether or not he can be a new man.
Appeal Elements: relatable characters, easy writing style, uplifting tone
Readalikes: A Man Called Ove (Frederik Bachman) and The Storied Life of A.J. Fickry (Gabrielle Zevin)

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