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New Nonfiction
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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

What to Expect When You Weren't Expecting (Parenting Tales from the most Unqualified (Step)Mom Ever)

Jyl CJ Barlow

The truth is, nobody dreams of marrying a man with an ex-wife and pre-made kids. The reality is, it happens anyway.

What to Expect When You Weren’t Expecting is a memoir chronicling Jyl Barlow’s bumpy road to success as a (step)mother. Shared are the struggles of being inserted into an existing family that has yet to fully emerge from the emotional woodchipper of divorce. Jyl shares real-world lessons, not the mumbo-jumbo one can receive for the low price of a co-pay. If you are a (step)mom or on the path to becoming a (step)mom, or if you know a (step)mom, this book will serve as a sanity saver, offering endless reassurance in knowing that you are not alone in your struggle to find stability.

This memoir is for the whole family, meant to be shared among husbands and mothers-in-law and (step)children and, well, maybe ex-wives. What to Expect When You Weren’t Expecting offers readers a greater understanding of just how difficult it is for (step)mothers to dive headfirst into a role in which they are typically not welcome.

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