The Darlings are a warm, loud, slightly boundary-challenged family of 4 adult sisters and a brother. The first in a 3-part series, All Right Here, is about Ivy Darling and her husband Nick Mason, a couple with a crumbling marriage, who struggle with infertility. When the 3 kids next door are abandoned by their mother, Ivy & Nick unwittingly become foster parents to the only black children in the town of Copper Cove, Maine. Even as Ivy grows more attached to the kids, Nick refuses to accept their unorthodox household as a permanent family. With their relationship spiraling down fast, Ivy has to decide whether or not she still cares enough to try to save her marriage. A book about faith, family and most of all, forgiveness.

…an honest and delicately navigated novel... Gardner writes with raw insight… a beautiful journey that is both heartbreaking and hopeful.” ~Booklist

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Do any of you grown-ups ever stop in the middle of your day to wonder, Who’s in charge here? I do: all the time. Because even though I am an adult in full possession of a mortgage, who votes in most elections, and has 3 teenagers, I mostly still feel about 16 years old. Like…I’m making payments on my daughter’s college bill, and thinking, Shouldn’t I be in study hall right now?

To my surprise, last November, I celebrated 21 years of marriage to my husband Tim. I don’t feel old enough to even be married, let alone have done it for over 2 decades which, face it, is longer than I have ever stuck to anything in life, except for the act of drawing breath. This may be why I have a nose piercing and hair the color of red velvet cake. In many senses, I suppose I am still waiting for the adults to show up and tell me to shape up or else.

But suddenly, when it comes to knowing how to stay married, I find that I AM the adult here. I have beaten the odds and stayed [mostly] happily married to the same person on purpose for a long time. All at once, I have something to say on a subject that does not include the words, “Buy L’Oreal: you will regret the red-box brand every time.”

Ah, staying married! How I could (and shall) wax eloquent. It’s not something that happens on accident, lemmee tell you. Once, I remember an oft-divorced friend telling me mistily, “You’re so lucky you found your Mr. Right the first time around.” I nearly snorted coffee out my nose in indignation. Seriously, since when has staying married ever been about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right?

Staying married is about becoming Mr. or Mrs. Right.

 

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About Carre

I write from the big small town of Portland, Maine, where I’m the mom of 3 teenagers and 2 dogs I wish I didn’t own. (Only the dogs, not the teenagers.) The most interesting thing I’ve ever done is to live for a few years in Russia, studying the language and doing humanitarian work. I wish I remembered more Russian than I do.

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About the Books


The Darlings are a warm, loud, slightly boundary-challenged family of 4 adult sisters and a brother. The first in a 3-part series, All Right Here, is about Ivy Darling and her husband Nick Mason, a couple with a crumbling marriage, who struggle with infertility.

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The Blog

Some reflections on family, faith, and the foibles of life. Stop by and leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

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