Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Carolyn Clarke’s debut novel, And Then There’s Margaret. Published in paperback and ebook by Black rose Writing on July 21st 2022.
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…
Well Margaret is the most unpleasant of mother-in-laws and poor Allison is at her wits end after her beloved father-in-law dies bringing Margaret much closer to home than she’d like. Looking after the grieving widow who just can’t help but interfere and undermine Allison in every way possible at possibly the most challenging time of Allison’s life. This is an exploration of the trials and tribulations of midlife, family dynamics and also the effect of a life time of mis-communication and of things left unsaid. I did feel quite sorry for Allison but at times I did find it difficult to like her either. I also felt sorry for Margaret and I sensed that there was something beneath that tough, unyielding exterior that was rather sad.
A modern twist on the ‘monster-in-law’ and a light and engaging read. And Then There’s Margaret is available now in paperback and on ebook. Visit Amazon to order (also available on KindleUnlimited.
Thank you so much for Hannah for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.
About the author
Carolyn Clarke is the founder and curator of HenLit enthral, 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 her award-winning blog ESL Made Easy. She lives in Toronto with her partner, Tony, her two daughters and a bulldog, Sophie.
You can find Carolyn on Twitter @CarolynRClarke and on Facebook @Carolyn Clarke Author / Facebook.