Women's Fiction

And Then There's Margaret


This book will launch on Jul 21, 2022. Currently, only those with the link can see it. 🔒

Loved it! 😍

Allie's life is turned upside down when Margaret, her manipulative mother-in-law, moves in.

I knew right away when I read the summary of And Then There's Margaret, that I wanted to review it. That I needed to review it. The story of Allison (Allie) Montgomery, who suddenly has to share her house with Margaret, her manipulative mother-in-law, appealed to me. Without a doubt, it will appeal to many other women, as well (and many men, too). After the death of her husband, George, Margaret can’t cope alone, so she moves in with her son. And with his wife, Allison, with whom the relationship is strained — but you already have guessed that. Definitely, the grief doesn’t help Allie and Margaret to appreciate each other. It puts Allie in a life crisis. Between her husband, who works with a seductive colleague, and her daughter, who falls in love with the wrong man, Allie has to live with Margaret, the daughter-in-law’s nightmare. Margaret tries to control the household — her son and her two grandchildren, without forgetting the chores and the decoration of the house.

Even though the summary of the book captivated me, I was afraid Margaret would be a cliché. Calculating mothers-in-law are a delicate subject. Yet Carolyn Clarke weaves the plot with skill, and her characters are all convincing, with their flaws and quirks. Moreover, the wittiness of the writing enlightened the story. Here, day-to-day life is never boring.

A book written from a female perspective is often cataloged as for women only. (THIS is a cliché.) And Then There's Margaret is for the women who once had a toxic mother-in-law. (Or still have.) And for the women who want to feel less alone. Yet, men also should read this novel to better understand the opposite sex. After all, they know that life can be complicated when changes force their way into our existence. You will appreciate this book if you love a pinch of humor in the sorrow. Despite George’s death, which influenced the entire story, the novel isn’t depressive. The dosage between laughs and tears is perfect. Carolyn Clarke succeeds in telling the story of Allie, a strong woman caught in one of those moments in life when everything is going wrong. 

Reviewed by

I'm a compulsive reader and an aspiring writer. My native language is French, but I am now in love with the English language. I'm fascinated by the 1960s-70s, and I love music.

Goodbye George, Hello Margaret

About the author

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 debut novel. She's an ESL teacher and has co-authored articles and resources with Cambridge University Press and her award-winning blog ESL Made Easy. view profile

Published on July 21, 2022

Published by Black Rose Writing

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Women's Fiction

Reviewed by