And Then There’s Margaret by Carolyn Clarke

And Then There's Margaret by Carolyn Clarke
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And Then There’s Margaret by Carolyn Clarke

Marriage and midlife can be difficult. But when you add a controlling, manipulative and self-absorbed mother-in-law into the mix, things can get worse-much worse. Toxic, even.

When Allison Montgomery’s beloved father-in-law and long-time confidant passes away, her mother-in-law, Margaret, ‘temporarily’ moves in. From rearranging the furniture and taking over the kitchen, to undermining and embarrassing Allie at every turn, including funding her daughter’s escape, throwing a hissy fit at the mall, and publicly equating Allie’s glass of Chardonnay to full blown alcoholism, Margaret turns Allie’s life upside down causing her to bounce between a sincere desire to support her grieving mother-in-law and an intense urge to simply push her out of the nearest window.

Feeling annoyed, trapped and even a little childish, Allie struggles to avoid a complete meltdown with help from her fearless and audacious best friend, a plan for reinventing herself and enjoying a second act, and, yes, a few glasses of Chardonnay. Along the way, Allie discovers the reasons behind Margaret’s attitude toward her all these years. Does it help? Maybe…

And Then There’s Margaret by Carolyn Clarke

2022 Chick Lit Cafe – CLC Book Excellence Award Winner 
2022 Indie Book Awards Finalist – Chick Lit (Fiction)
2022 Maxy Awards Winner – Literary & Humor
2022 Readers’ Choice Book Awards – Finalist

Chick lit Cafe book review

Rife with witty banter, Carolyn Clarke’s debut laugh-out-loud family dramedy, And Then There’s Margaret feels like a much beloved night out with friends.  She has created a main character who is a real human—one who faces challenge after challenge and tries to meet life’s challenges with deep breathing and mantras galore.  If only life’s issues listened to these attempts.  Carolyn Clarke has taken the rocky mother-daughter trope and added a healthy dose of monster-mother-in-law into the mix that will make you gleefully turn page after page to see what each character dishes up next.

Allison is a middle-aged wife of two whose mother-in-law, Margaret, still expects her son to need her on a near daily basis.  From stopping by unannounced, to checking coat pockets and cupboards, to cleaning out the fridge and then the entire house, Allison’s mother-in-law is an overly doting, needy woman who cannot restrain herself from uttering near-constant cutting remarks and criticisms towards Allison’s inability to meet her family’s every perceived need.  Hank, Allison’s husband, and George, Hank’s father, play monkey in the middle in every scenario until George loses his battle with a terminal illness thus leaving Margaret, Hank, and Allison to sweat it out alone.

Carolyn Clarke’s book is unique and different from most other books in this genre.  She has created a storyline that is realistic yet leaves the reader guessing where the story is taking them next.  Her characters feel like people you’d want to sit and have a coffee with, learn from, or run away from (in Margaret’s case).  And yet, each character develops, changes, and reveals aspects of themselves that make sense and endear them to their readers even more.  I appreciated the ending to this novel so much; Carolyn was thoughtful about keeping her book sincere, humorous, and heartfelt to the very end.

And Then There’s Margaret will have you giggling, outright laughing, or hungrily turning the page to see what new antics Margaret will create next.  In this hilarious, down-to-Earth read, debut author Carolyn Clarke has created charming and fascinating characters that could come from any home on any block and because they feel so human, you’ll want to stay with them until the very last page. Chick Lit Café is proud to recommend the multi-award winning, women’s fiction, humor, and family dramedy novel And Then There’s Margaret by Carolyn Clarke. Book reviewed by Rachel McMahon for Chick Lit Café.

Buy And Then There’s Margaret by Carolyn Clarke today!
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Chick Lit Café Awards First Place to
And Then There’s Margaret by Carolyn Clarke

for best Women’s Fiction & Humor

CLC Book Excellence Award Winner
And Then There's Margaret by Carolyn Clarke Award Winner"

And Then There’s Margaret is a
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About the Author

Carolyn Clarke is founder and curator of Henlit Central, a blog focused on ‘life and lit’ for women over 40. And Then There’s Margaret is her first novel. She has been an ESL teacher for over sixteen years and has co-authored several articles and resources with Cambridge University Press, Macmillan Education and on her award-winning blog ESL Made Easy. She lives in Toronto, Canada with Tony, her two daughters, and bulldog, Sophie.

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