“Sobriety is okay enough,” Denny says, “but someday, I’d like to live a life based on doing good stuff instead of just not doing bad stuff. You know?” — Chuck Palahniuk
After reading Five Star Review and meeting Marshall, it was clear that he was a tortured soul. All the horrible things he did to keep Cade and Eric apart were done out of his unhappiness and inner turmoil. I so wanted to see what had happened to Marshall and was thrilled to bits when Lara said he was getting his own book.
Marshall had lost Eric, who had been his long-time best friend and lover, due to his own actions. When we catch up with him, he is a recovering alcoholic with a year of sobriety under his belt. He accepts a job at The Wellness Center in an effort to continue his healing. His sponsor has a heart attack, leaving Marshall with no one to turn to if he feels he needs to drink.
The center hires a counselor to replace Marshall’s old sponsor and it turns out to be someone Marshall has a history with. Kyle is the new counselor. He is also good friends with Eric, and he has always hated Marshall. The two men are forced to work together.
Kyle’s opinion of Marshall doesn’t change until Marshall commits a completely selfless act and saves Eric’s life. Kyle then begins to believe that maybe Marshall is capable of change and that he really is different this time. They begin to build a romantic relationship.
Any big change in the life of someone newly sober, whether good or bad, can be a threat to that sobriety. The ups and downs of a new relationship can wreak havoc on someone newly clean. It is recommended to addicts that they not make any big life decisions within the first year of sobriety for just that reason.
In Reviewing Life, Lara Brukz gave me what I had been hoping for since I realized just how much pain Marshall was truly in. She let us see the kind man hidden under the layer of protective anger and just plain meanness. She revealed a caring man capable of love who was desperately sorry for his past actions. Lara Brukz gave Marshall what so many characters don’t get; a chance at redemption. It was delightful to see the changes in him. This book stands alone or can be read after Five Star Review. To really understand the level of change Marshall undergoes, I recommend reading them in order. I highly recommend this book!