A lawyer’s drunken office-party speech is captured on camera and goes viral leaving him humiliated and unemployed.
In THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN (Touchstone) by Cristina Alger, Charlie Goldwyn has been litigating night and day for nearly a decade at one of New York’s top law firms, defending some of the guiltiest white-collar offenders. He’s making a boatload of money and hoping to make partner, but his home life has suffered. His wife, Mira, whom he rarely ever saw, died in a plane crash going to a wedding he didn’t attend, because he had to work. Now his twin sister, Zadie is helping him raise his five-year old son, Caleb who he rarely sees.
After working seventy-two hours straight on a big case and hoping to get home to recognize the anniversary of Mira’s death, he is forced to stay at the office for the summer associate’s welcome party. Charlie proceeds to have too many vodkas, and just as he’s about to leave, one of the partners calls him up to make a speech to the associates. Charlie is totally drunk and he gives an unfiltered, bitter speech about life at the firm and working for clients he knows are guilty, which goes viral and gets him fired. Immediately, he wants to get revenge on whoever uploaded the video.
Stuck at home with his son Caleb, Charlie thinks it will be a cakewalk, until he learns about Caleb’s obsessions with possible disasters, his need to wear girl’s clothing in pinks and purples and being a loner in preschool. Charlie quickly realizes being a full-time dad, may be tougher than litigating. He meets some fellow stay-at-home-dads and begins to take a closer look at the life he’s been leading. Revenge begins to look a little less important, as well as being a tough powerful lawyer.
“Maybe it’s time to do things a little differently….Maybe I need to loosen up.”
Zadie gets engaged and this initiates her and Charlie to get in touch with their estranged lawyer father in the city, who has never acknowledged them. It’s interesting to note that when people slow down, they can “look around and smell the roses.” It may be a simple concept, but unfortunately, few of us embrace this reality before it’s too late. Charlie is blessed to be given a second chance, and readers are able to take away what they want from his experience, while enjoying a beautiful novel.
THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN is a sweet story about fatherhood and family. Alger does a lovely job creating a menagerie of characters that are unique and fully developed. This novel is yet another example of how “untraditional” – the traditional family has become. A family today is whomever comes together to love one another. In this case: father, son, sister/aunt/wife, brother-in-law/husband/uncle and numerous friends. The relationship between Charlie and Caleb is warm and delightful. I promise you will fall in love with Caleb.
Cristina Alger is a lifelong New Yorker. A graduate of Harvard College and NYU Law School, she worked as a financial analyst and a corporate attorney before becoming a writer. She lives in New York with her family, and is currently working on her third novel.
For all things Cristina, check out her out on twitter @CristinaAlger or her website www.christinaalger.com
We have one copy of THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN to giveaway. Just tell us if you’ve ever had to change gears after your plans were completely turned upside down? We’ll announce a winner Monday, October 24th.