And Now There’s Zelda by Carolyn Clarke – CLBC Award Winner

And Now There’s Zelda: The Perfect Family Life Dramedy by Carolyn Clarke
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Alt="and now there's zelda"And Now There’s Zelda: The Perfect Family Life Dramedy by Carolyn Clarke

For fans of the international bestselling and award-winning author of AND THEN THERE’S MARGARET comes the perfect family ‘dramedy’. AND NOW THERE’S ZELDA takes readers on another relatable ‘slice of life’ ride as Allison Montgomery realizes the only way to survive the angst of family is to let go….and let it be.

Dealing with a controlling, manipulative, and self-absorbed mother-in-law can be a challenge. But when your child brings home a fiancé who’s completely unworthy, and the shoe is suddenly on the other foot, do you take the high road, or get down and dirty?

It’s been five years since Allison Montgomery’s beloved father-in-law, George, passed away and her cantankerous mother-in-law, Margaret, moved in. After nearly killing each other during their initial adjustment period, Allie and Margaret have finally buried the hatchet and have even launched a thriving home staging business together.

Today, Allie is enjoying life. That is until her twenty-two-year-old son, Cameron, unexpectedly brings home Zelda, his new fiancé. The problem is, no one has ever met or even heard of her. And when Zelda’s first impression raises more than a few red flags, Allie finds herself in unfamiliar territory.

Facing the prospect of becoming a mother-in-law far sooner than expected, and to someone unworthy of her darling baby boy, Allie’s protective instinct kicks in. And who better to turn to for guidance and support than Margaret, her former nemesis and master of the mothers-in-law’s dark arts.

Allie and Margaret launch Project Zelda, an intervention of sorts designed to show Cameron who Zelda really is and to prevent him from making a catastrophic mistake. However, with Zelda’s ingratiating behavior, Margaret’s occasional disappearances, and Allie’s doubts about turning into her own mother-in-law, will Allie find a way to reconcile her protective instincts or will history repeat itself?

Chick Lit Book Café Review for And Now There’s Zelda:

And Now There’s Zelda is a hysterically lovable follow-up to Carolyn Clarke’s hit family dramedy and award winning debut, And Then There’s Margaret. Charismatic and perennially relatable, our wisecracking heroine is re-introduced in a hilarious role-switch as the suspicious future mother-in-law in this prevailing women’s fiction series.

Allison has caught her stride with a successful business-oriented career change, a steady-loving husband and a hard-won amicable relationship with her mother-in-law, Margaret, turned business partner and housemate since her husband’s death. That is until her son in college springs a surprise wedding engagement on the family, fiancé, Zelda, in tow, shattering the calm and triggering her mama bear instincts. This unwanted household invasion is a gateway to greater cracks in the picture-perfect family frame as her husband and European-gallivanting daughter announce they can’t make the Florida trip for her mother’s seventy-fifth birthday, relying on Zelda and Margaret as replacements. This less-than-ideal impromptu switch-up grants Allison the chance to recruit Margaret to thwart the ill-fated engagement, if she can crack the elusive Zelda, avoid her son’s ire, track Margaret’s metamorphosis, and keep from spiraling into the anxieties of motherhood while running a business.

Once again, award-winning author Carolyn Clarke pens such a kindred spirit in Allison. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more relatable, amusing conveyor of family drama, nuanced this time in such an intermediary season of her life, though no less comical or quick-witted. And Now There’s Zelda marks a different stage for Allison as an almost-empty nester, navigating the peripherality of late-stage motherhood while managing her furniture-staging business and family relationships. Her protective maternal instincts dial up to an extreme as she hilariously mirrors Margaret’s paranoia about her son’s fiancé, employing a myriad of strategies including stalking Zelda and offloading frequent earfuls to the late dear George’s spirit, determined to discover Zelda’s supposed diabolical plans. Her quintessential quirky family serves as the perfect backdrop for her mission, with Margaret adding her unique exuberant flavor as always.

Carolyn Clarke’s breezy, buoyant prose delivers such a strong voice and identity, cheekily detangling the intricate complexities of family life and a mother’s interiority with an emotionally satisfying resolution. Here’s a story about changing seasons, acceptance, evolution, solidarity, and vivacity, looping in a broad range of intergenerational women’s experiences through a single entertaining perspective.

Guaranteed to make you laugh, And Now There’s Zelda is the perfect pick-me-up book, offering a front-row seat to entertaining self-inflicted family drama and because at this point, sabotaging your son’s engagement is practically family tradition and definitely funny. Chick Lit Book Café highly recommends And Now There’s Zelda: The Perfect Family Life Dramedy by Carolyn Clarke. Book read and reviewed by Iris Fuller for CLBC-Multi-Genre Literary Group.
Buy And Now There’s Zelda: The Perfect Family Life Dramedy by Carolyn Clarke

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“Perfect for women’s fiction book clubs.”

And Now There’s Zelda: The Perfect Family Life Dramedy by Carolyn Clarke
CLBC International Book Excellence Award Winner
Family Life Dramedy, Women’s Fiction, Comedy & HumorAlt="CLBC International Book Excellence Award"

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Carolyn Clarke is the 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. Her second book And Now There’s Zelda is out May 2024 (pre-order now at Black Rose Writing – PROMO CODE: PREORDER2024). 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 her award-winning blog ESL Made Easy. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her partner, Tony, her two daughters and of course her bulldog, Sophie. Read CHAPTER ONE here.

Connect with Multi-Award Winning Author Carolyn Clarke
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CLBC’s Author Interview of Carolyn Clarke

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