BOOK CLUB: The Forever Place

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Thank you to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Forever Place written by Michelle Montebello.

This is a wonderful story. Once you start reading you can not put it down!

Marley Kincaid is a criminal lawyer. She is beautiful, intelligent and successful. She appears to have it all.

Everyone is entitled to a defence, and as a criminal lawyer, she has defended her share of horrific cases.

Austin, her boyfriend is also a lawyer. The two of them party hard, spending most nights in the bars of inner-city Melbourne. They need to unwind after their highly stressful jobs – and isn’t alcohol and drugs the way everybody gets over a hard day at work? Well, at least all her friends do.

Recklessly, after a long drinking session, Marley drives the few streets to her St Kilda townhouse. Marley walks away from an accident with minor injuries. The occupants of the other car, a heavily pregnant woman and her husband are lucky to survive. The accident could have been so much worse for everyone.

Being lawyers, they are familiar with ways to exploit the legal system. The problem for Marley is she needs a character reference to assist with a more favourable sentence.

The one person she can ask is her sister Anna. The sisters are vastly different. Anna lives in the Dandenong Ranges with her husband Tom and three children. They are expecting their fourth child. Tom and Anna are not drinkers and are supporters of a healthy lifestyle.

Anna confronts Marely hoping to make her realise that she needs help and that she is an alcoholic.

The deal is, Anna will write a reference if Marely goes into rehab. Not just any rehab, but to spend two weeks on White Cedar Island, east of the Canadian mainland and in the North Atlantic Ocean. The island is considered one of the healthiest places on Earth. A Blue Zone.

Island life is so different to her Melbourne one. Marley meets some amazing people.

But not everyone on the Island is welcoming to Marley.

In this tranquil place, Marley has a chance to deal with her problems and face the trauma of her past. For any relationship to work, there must be truthfulness. If you can’t be truthful to yourself, how can you be truthful to the people who care about you?

The story is about Marley’s journey to recovery. Her highs and lows and a chance to love and to be loved.
The book is easy to read with wonderful characters in an exquisite setting. Marley’s story is told with empathy and an understanding of all that she is going through. You so want things to work out for her.

Five stars.

ISBN‏: ‎ 978-0987641687

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Forever Place by Michelle Montebello. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

64 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Forever Place

  1. Marley is so likeable that I fell for her character immediately. Her strengths and weaknesses were a main element in this truly heart wrenching story! A criminal lawyer, with a huge future ahead of her as she is one of the best, but whose lifestyle is one to read to believe. Her boyfriend is also a lawyer with a similar lifestyle. Can Marley overcome her demons? Her sister forces her hand and Marley finds herself agreeing to “clean up her act” or face a future without seeing her family.
    The new lifestyle is initially hard but she has a village of helpers to support her! A couple of slips along the way but you must read her journey! It’s challenging and tough but achievable.
    A wonderful read but likeable characters and a book hard to put down until the end.
    Well done Michelle Montebello.

  2. Thank-you Beauty & Lace for giving me the chance to read & review ‘The Forever Place’ an e-book by Michelle Montebello.
    Marley seems to have it all, a terrific and challenging job as a criminal defence lawyer, a boyfriend who is also a lawyer who understands the need to be relax when not working and an exciting social life with friends, fuelled by alcohol and drugs. It is not until a tragic near miss in her car, the intervention of a loving sister and the threat of damage to her career does the rose-coloured glasses come off and we get to see the real Marley and how her lifestyle is really hiding an underlying deep pain.
    Marley’s sister Anne will only write a character reference for the defence if Marley goes to a remote island east of the Canadian mainland for a two-week period. Here Marley learns to face her demons head on, fortunately with the support of many islanders. Her battles are not so easily won with many ups and downs to go through, it kept me enthralled, wanting to know what happens. I really like how the book finished, it gave hope but also an acceptance that the journey would not be easy and that relapses into temptation will still happen, the stability would always be a fragile balancing act – more realistic than just the happy ever after.
    This was a great read with Marley being full of flaws but also having an underlying persona that made me hope that the flaws could be overcome. Thank-you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ for the opportunity to read ‘The Forever Place’ an e-book by Michelle Montebello.

  3. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the opportunity to read this ebook.

    Marley (from Melbourne) is a criminal defence lawyer who excels at her job but what toll does this lifestlye bring personally to her?
    An accident leaves her in a situation where she needs to look at her life and figure out who she is and what she values.

    A beautifully written story with believable and flawed characters, it was a pleasure to read. I was able to immerse myself in the beauty of the remote Canadian island and learn more qbout blue zone living.

    5 stars and will definitely look out for more written by Michelle.

  4. The Forever Place Michelle Montebello is a profound and heartfelt novel. I was hooked on Michelle’s clever writing style from the first page and couldn’t put this book down.

    Marley Kincaid a criminal defence lawyer, she is good at hiding her feelings with alcohol, it is her liquid security blanket; the substance that muffles emptiness and anger like a shield. Her life seemed perfect from the outside with a successful career, boyfriend Austin who is also a lawyer, friends and family but when a change of circumstance happens and rocks her world she spirals.

    Austin is not a great support; I felt the relationship was rooted in deep co-dependency and he enabled her. They had wild nights out to unravel from the stresses of work but drinking and doing drugs, they were too cloudy to step back. Marley could not see clearly, and certainly could not see her choices in how to deal with people and how to negotiate relationships.

    Luckily for Marley her sister Anna steps in and encourages her to go to a recovery centre; White Cedar, situated on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia in the North Atlantic Ocean. Here she learns about sobriety and subjects herself to change, although there is inevitable ups and downs, fears and feelings, victories and failures that she faces in her growth to being clean.

    Marley made me clench my teeth at her self-indulgence and self-destructiveness, but I found myself wanting her to unravel the weirdness and find some peace. I did empathise with her character and her struggles to deal with her mental health, sense of identity and relationships with family and Austin. Sometimes to heal you have to go through pain, and the lifestyle she was leading cheated her of that opportunity.

    I loved how the story developed with the mix of characters and the way the story came together at the end. But beware: there is a lot of alcohol, drug use and abuse in this book. I’ve suffered abuse and have self-harmed but did not find this book confronting as I have healed. I would recommend this for those who are questioning their drinking, have come to decide they are willing to give up, for friends and relatives of someone they are worried about, for those newly sober, and for those merely curious. There is an answer, there is another way. I highly recommend.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review.

    1. Thank you for your wonderful review, Melissa. You’ve given such thought to this review and have captured the essence of the story perfectly. All my love to your healing and am so glad you enjoyed the story.
      Michelle xx

  5. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the chance to read an advanced copy of Michelle’s new book The Forever Place.
    It was an amazing read. It had me wanting to strangle Marley for her selfishness but also barracking for her to heal and put her life together.
    It made me feel like there is always help and another answer to the crap things that happen in your life. Never give up we are all stronger than we think.

  6. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Michelle’s new book The Forever Place. This was the first of Michelle’s books I have read and I am now searching for the rest!

    The story of Marley was captivating. Like others I wanted to slap sense into her but I was always rooting for her. I was so addicted to the book I stole moments to sit and enjoy it wherever I could.

    10 out of 10 in my opinion!

    1. Dear Becc,
      Thank you for your lovely words for The Forever Place. Apologies for stealing so much of your time, although just quietly, I’m pretty thrilled you loved it that much 🙂 🙂
      Michelle xx

  7. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the chance to read The Forever Place.

    The leas character in this story is Marley- a criminal lawyer who has taken to drinking daily to block out the demons of the job. After a car accident she gets a much needed wake up call from her sister and goes off to a distant remote island for some rehab.

    Marley’s character is likeable and easy to relate to. Michelle’s story telling is fantastic yet again and you will have a hard time putting this book down! Highly recommend!!

  8. Another great book by Michelle Montebello!

    I first discovered Michelle through Beauty and Lace in reading The Lost Letters of Playfair Street and have since gone on to read The Quarantine Station – which I also loved! So I jumped at this chance when I saw she had a new book coming out!

    From page one I was immediately pulled into the story. I found it such a easy book to read but also really, really enjoyable! I devoured it within two days.

    The setting, through Michelle’s fantastic storytelling, is so vivid and clear and the characters so likeable, well maybe not Austin! Haha

    I highly recommend this book along with any of Michelle’s others, you will not be disappointed!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the chance to read and review this great book!

  9. Thank you for the opportunity to read this fabulous book. It gave a great insight into alcoholism and how addictive it is. It also made me want to runaway to live in such a wonderful island!
    This is the first book I’ve read from Michelle Montebello and now I am going to read all her other books!
    Highly recommend this novel1

  10. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the chance to read The Forever Place.

    This is an engaging modern story that resonates with the stresses of modern life and the simple pleasures that bring a real quality. Marleys issues and stress from her life as a criminal lawyer and the beauty of Wide Cedar Island rings so true.

    The story the characters and the thought of a place as magical as White Cedar engaged me from the start. The Forever Place is a pleasure to read. Highly recommended.

    Thanks again!

  11. Michelle Montebello has certainly written another great book,
    Marley is a criminal defence lawyer based in Melbourne she is excellent at her job, but is on a path to destruction partying with her boyfriend, and way too much alcohol,
    A accident brings her problems to a head, her sister lays down the law and if Marley wants to see her family she has to clean her act up,
    She takes time of work and travels to White Cedar Island which is remote of Canada,
    A stay of two weeks turns into much longer as she starts to detox and feels better,
    The description of the island and locals is amazing, A truly wonderful book,
    Thanks Beauty and Lace

  12. To be honest, I’d never heard of a ‘Blue Zone’ before, a rare place where people live longer than the rest of the world, with vitality, health and happiness. It’s to one of those blue zones, White Cedar Island off the Canadian coast in the North Atlantic Ocean, that criminal lawyer Marley is sent by her sister. Marley’s an alcoholic, in a damaging co-dependent relationship with another criminal lawyer in the same firm. They work hard, drink hard, do recreational drugs hard, go to bed at dawn, then get up a few scant hours later to proceed with their difficult job – aided by more booze and drugs. It’s a devastating cycle that can only lead to disaster in the end. When Marley has a terrible drunk driving accident, her sister Anna does the tough love thing and gives Marley ultimatums to stop drinking or else. We all need a sister like Anna. So Marley ends up on the other side of the world, in terrible withdrawal, on White Cedar Island. This island sounds magical. A place of lush beauty and care, where everyone lives a good, healthy lifestyle. Day One, in not the best of conditions and desperately craving a drink, Marley meets Lachlan, a truffle farmer. It all goes on from there. Michelle Montebello gives us huge issues in this book: unhealthy co-dependent relationships, alcoholism and drug dependence, self-harm, domestic violence and the stress of high-powered jobs. It sounds dire, but set against the healing backdrop of White Cedar Island the issues are handled well. A romance between Marley and Lachlan seems tricky – how can it ever last, given her problems? But forgiveness, love, kindness, compassion and time help make a difference to both of them as Marley bravely faces her demons. Believe me when I say this is an honest and beautiful book, quietly triumphant.
    Thankyou to Beauty & Lace and Michelle Montebello for the review copy.

  13. The Forever Place by Michelle Montebello is my first Contemporary Book by this author whose Historical Fiction books I love.
    Marley is a criminal defence lawyer who struggles with alcoholism. After a series of tragic events her sister forces her to travel to a remote island off the Atlantic Coast of Canada. Here she goes through terrible withdrawals but finds friendship, a healthy simple lifestyle and love.
    This was a beautifully written, sensitive and realistic story of a young woman who has lost her way and even though she wasn’t particularly likeable, I was invested in her story and hoped for the best for her.
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for my copy of this e-book for review.

  14. The Forever Place by Michelle Montenegro is a fantastic story. Confronting, happy, frustrating, emotional are part of the journey of reading about Marley. She is a high profile criminal defence lawyer representing people she does not always believe are innocent. Alcohol and parties become a way to hide her self doubts.

    After causing a car accident whilst under the influence she is forced to assess her life. Her sisters ultimatum to spend two weeks on an island to dry out, begin the start of Marley’s attempts to start again.

    Her journey has highs and lows, and the reader is with her all the way. Parts of the story were read through the tears in my eyes, but I had to keep reading.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will be looking to read Michelle’s other books. Thanks to Beauty and Lace Club for the opportunity to read and review.

  15. Thank you so much Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read another of Michelle Montebello’s books. I was introduced to Michelle by Beauty and Lace when I was fortunate enough to review ‘The Lost Letters of Playfair Street’ which I absolutely adored. Michelle’s next offering ‘The Forever Place’ certainly delivers and is once again a five-star read for me.

    Michelle’s writing is honey on the page, she has a definite style which resonates with her reader’s and keeps them coming back for more. I have loved all of Michelle’s female protagonists both Charlotte and Paige in The Lost Letters of Playfair Street’ and Marley and her sister Anna.

    Marley following in her father’s footsteps is a criminal lawyer in Melbourne, Marley works hard, plays harder, burns the candle at both ends, is a functioning alcoholic, who abuses the bottle, and is carefree with drugs, her choice of friends and her not so clever or supportive choice of lover. Everything for Marley is full-on, until early one morning, it literally comes to a screeching halt. Anna gives Marley an ultimatum, if Anna gives Marley what she needs, Marley has to relocate to remote picturesque White Cedar Island to dry out and re-evaluate her life.

    Marley’s life takes a dramatic turn for the better, after initial reluctance and each attempt to leave the island thwarted the slow pace of island life begins to grow on Marley along with its electric inhabitants.

    Michelle has done it again with this book, which is brilliantly written, enticing you further and further into the story, investing in each character, wanting the very best for them, riding their highs and lows, and never wanting the story to end.

    Thank you, Beauty and Lace, for the opportunity to review ‘The Forever Place.’ I cannot recommend ‘The Forever Place’ highly enough and anxiously await Michelle’s next book.

  16. Montebello delivers again – after LOVING her book, The Lost Letters of Playfair Street I was excited to receive an Advance Reader Copy of her latest book The Forever Place.
    I powered through this beautiful drama/romance in a weekend. I fell in love with White Cedar and all that it brought the main character Marley – a criminal defence lawyer from Melbourne with a chequered history and a dependence on alcohol. When she hits rock bottom and her life and career is on the line, Marley’s sister Anna sends her to White Cedar, a ‘blue zone’ on the other side of the world – an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. It is here that Marley is attempting to recover from her alcoholism but the Island brings with it a whole new set of challenges, emotions, friendships and romance. Will Marley recover and return to her busy Melbourne life?
    The Forever Place is a beautifully written book which highlights the pressures and impacts modern day busy lives can have on people. It also demonstrates that simplicity and freedom of these pressures can bring pure pleasure and real quality to our lives.
    I loved this book and the rollercoaster of emotions it took me on – I was so invested in Marley’s story. I highly recommend The Forever Place to anyone looking for their next fiction read – just make sure you have no plans for the weekend as you’ll want to finish it!
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  17. This was a really great read, a compassionate look at a woman struggling with alcohol addiction and the havoc it plays with her life and those around her.

    I was completely engaged in this story from start to finish, I felt so much compassion for Marley and her struggle with alcohol addiction and the choices she makes and the impact this has on her relationships and her professional life.

    Sometimes it really does take hitting rock bottom to make you take a look at what is going on, and for Marley it took hitting rock bottom and an ultimatum from her sister before she is willing (albeit under duress), to make a change.

    Marley is a criminal defence attorney whose life was badly affected by the repercussions of a case she worked on a couple of years before. Without being aware of it, alcohol has become more than just a fun time. I could relate to this myself and really felt for her when she became aware just how much she was relying on alcohol to function and also how much certain relationships relied on that alcohol consumption.

    Michelle Montebello introduces us to ‘Blue Zones’ which are some of the healthiest places on earth to live, (there is a link in the back of the book if you want to know more), White Cedar Island is off the coast of Nova Scotia (this is actually a made-up blue zone based on the real blue zones, which is a shame because I could have lived there myself for half a year (the summer half) if it had been real). Cedar Island is a small community with healthy eating, mostly a vegan diet, self-sustainable for the most part and very little alcohol available.

    Marley originally goes there for two weeks to dry out after her sister’s ultimatum, this is extended when she makes friends with her landlady Noelle, who plays a big part in Marley’s recovery, and with Lachlan, a lovely guy who befriends her, along with his gorgeous dog, and realises if she returns to her life at this point she will go back to drinking and nothing will change. I admired Marley’s determination, once she admitted she had a problem, to make changes in her life.

    She has some hard decisions to make during her time on the island and she also makes some bad decisions too, I wanted to pull her aside and say nooo don’t do it, but she had to make her own mistakes in order to learn and move forward.

    I think that Marley and Lachlan both had very real flaws, ones that made them both easy to relate to. There were a couple of not so nice characters who played quite important roles in Marley’s life and the outcomes that occurred, both on the island and back in Australia.

    This really was a wonderful read, highlighting the very real struggle of addiction that so many people deal with every day.

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Michelle Montebello for a digital copy of this novel in return for an honest review.

    1. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Michelle Montebello for a copy of this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and read it in one weekend! Michelle’s writing is so descriptive I felt like I had watched a movie as I read the book! Hint, Hint!

      The story is about Marley, a young successful lawyer following a self destructive path. She has everything she wants but is haunted by a past case. Marley’s sister insists she goes to an isolated location to recover and mend her dangerous ways, and remove herself from destructive influences. She moves to a blue zone area, half a world away where people live a mostly vegan lifestyle and live to a ripe old age. It is here that Marley faces her fears and must overcome her challenges.

      The characters in this novel feel very real and I laughed with them and wanted to shout at the pages as they made mistakes. But I loved that the characters and felt their experiences both good and bad, we’re realistic.

      I can’t wait to read her other novel.

  18. What a wonderful author Michelle Montebello is and one I was lucky enough to come across, over a year ago, through reading an ARC copy of ‘The Lost Letters of Playfair Street’ as part of our wonderful Beauty and Lace Book Club. This new title is just as captivating and believe me once you start you will not want to stop.

    Marley Kincaid is a criminal defence lawyer who is ‘falling apart on the inside’ as she struggles with life through alcohol. After a series of tragic and harrowing events Marley’s sister Anna convinces Marley that she needs to take time out, look after herself and treat her addiction to alcohol. There is a place called White Cedar Island off the Canadian mainland in the North Atlantic Ocean that is a ‘blue zone’ – one of the healthiest places on Earth. Marley reluctantly agrees to go and treats it as rehab; however, she doesn’t count on the affect living on the island has on her journey to finding herself.
    The journey Marley encounters while facing her demons has its ups and downs but there is love, forgiveness, compassion and above all the need to be true to yourself which shines through.
    Loved this book and can’t wait for the author’s next title. A definite 5/5

  19. I loved reading The Forever Place by Michelle Montebello and in fact read it in one day. It’s the second book of Michelle’s that I’ve read and like the last one, it didn’t disappoint. I loved the characters and really liked the way things weren’t made easy for them, but the problems in the story were realistic and weren’t corny like they are in some other stories. The story might be a bit hard to read for some people who have suffered from domestic violence or alcoholism and although I have no experience in either of those areas, I thought that the descriptions and storyline development in those two areas were true. There was an error on page 104 where ‘by’ was written instead of ‘my’, so given that this was an Advanced Reader Copy, I don’t know if that can be corrected before major distribution, but otherwise it was perfect. Thank you Michelle and Beauty and Lace for letting me read this book >:o)

    1. Thanks Simone for your beautiful review of The Forever Place. I’m glad the storyline rang true; it’s music to a writer’s ears to hear this! And I really appreciate you spotting that error. It’s been corrected for distribution, so thanks again.

      All the best.
      Michelle x

  20. This book was incredible. Had all the feels of love loss and family.
    Easy to read but lacks none of the twists and turns.

    Thanks beauty and lace and Michelle for the opportunity to read. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!

  21. What a fantastic read! Absolutely loved this!

    Marley is such a likeable character, I really enjoyed reading about her.

    My favourite character however was Noelle. She is the support system that everyone needs in their life.

    10 out of 10. Will definitely read again. And again. And again!

    Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for the chance to read and review The Forever Place.

    1. Hello Rach,

      Thank you for picking up The Forever Place and reviewing it so beautifully. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Noelle was a lovely character to write and I’m thrilled she was your favourite. We all need a “Noelle” in our lives 🙂

      Michelle x

  22. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
    I really enjoyed the story of Marley and her drinking problems. It shows how hard it is to given up an addiction and how easy to fall by the wayside.
    I was glad she got rid of her awful boyfriend who was not supportive.
    I felt like Noelle was something of a fairy godmother to Marley and it was she who was the star of the book.
    I enjoyed this book as much as The List Letters of Playfair Street.

    1. Hello Carla,

      Thank you for reading and reviewing The Forever Place. It was a beautiful review. You explained Noelle so aptly – she was like a fairy godmother. I couldn’t have put it better myself 🙂

      Michelle x

  23. Thank you @beautyandlacemag for supplying this month’s ebook, The Forever Place by Michelle Montebello.

    This is a fantastically easy read. Very relatable, normal, and super enthralling. I know this isn’t your first rodeo with writing, but still, very well done, Michelle, you have a gift I hope you continue to use for the benefit of your fans.

    The story is about a young, accomplished lawyer, Marley, and her life experiences and journey as a functioning alcoholic. Set in Melbourne, Australia, it’s a familiar setting and written in a way that presents Marley in an engaging and simultaneously endearing manner. The narrative is realistic and character development is spot on.

    Marley has an epiphany about her job and her life, after her little sister, who’s carrying her fourth child, encourages Marley on her journey to sobriety and self-reflection, albeit on the other side of the planet. Marely relents and makes the long haul to the edge of the world (as she sees it).

    Her new life comes with its own challenges and she falls for a local man. Their relationship grows, stalls, and rekindles as the chapters progress. Sadly, the thing she went to the island conquer was too strong for her.

    Omiggod, I didn’t see the surprise in Chapter 35 … great twist Michelle!

    And another in Chapter 39.

    I highly recommend reading this masterpiece and recommend it to a wide audience.
    Luisa Sommer

  24. Dear Luisa,

    Thank you for your kind and thoughtful review of The Forever Place. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the story as well as the characters (and the little twists too!)

    Michelle x

  25. Marley has a great job, good relationship, nice place, but none of that really makes life easier, but drinking does, well, it did.
    After an accident under the influence Marley gets a bit of a wake up call and intervention from her sister Anna. Its time to detox, become responsible but none of thats happening in her Melbourne home and life.
    The other side of the world, an island that promotes longevity, healthy eating and healthy living. Vegan diet for the most part and aparently, much to Marley’s dislike, minimal if any alcohol.
    Detoxing sucks, and why put herself through it, she’s just fine… right.
    Journey and suffer alongside Marley as she lets her demons out, people in and finds more than she bargained on. How does this all work… really?
    I loved the escape, the characters were well developed and storey emotive. Thanks for the opportunity to leave my couch to a good read.

    1. Dear Sharyn,

      Thank you for your review of The Forever Place. I’m so thrilled that you embarked on Marley’s journey with her. Thank you for taking the time to write such lovely words!

      Michelle x

  26. Thank you to beauty and lace for the opportunity to read this fantastic book!

    I loved this book and found it to be a fantastic read. Marley was so likeable and a great representation of someone struggling with addiction.

    Noelle was my favourite character and someone that everyone needs in their life.

    Not much more to be said other than I recommend to everyone!

  27. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of Michelle Montebello’s book ‘The Forever Place.’ This is the second book I’ve read if Michelle’s – both of which I have thoroughly enjoyed and recommended to friends.

    The Forever Place is about Marley – a criminal defence lawyer who is struggling with some demons in her life linked to her job, which she numbs by drinking. Her boyfriend Austin is also a lawyer and enabler. They work hard and party harder. After one night at a bar an accident occurs and Marley’s sister convinced her to go away to an island to get herself better.
    Island life isn’t easy at first with the vegan lifestyle but soon Marley finds it a place of healing with the help of her landlady Noelle and a handsome man named Lachlan.

    There are twists and turns and Marley’s story is not predictable or straight forward. Even with her faults it’s hard not to like her!

    A fabulous read – highly recommended!

  28. This is a compassionate book that explores a number of topics, but in an entertaining and engaging way. Great characters, and an interesting book that keeps you wanting to turn the pages late into the evening. This is a debut novel, but I look forward to reading more. Thanks Beauty and Lace for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  29. The Forever Place was a really enjoyable read, Marley the main character really grew on me and I loved Noelle. I would love to be able to take a break on Cedar Island, the concept of ‘blue zones’ was new to me but I found it really interesting.

    I really enjoy Michelle Montebello’s writing style and look forward to continuing to read more from her.

  30. The Forever Place is the first book of Michelle Montebello’s that I have read. It won’t be the last. It’s a truly touching story that guides you through issues of high functioning alcoholism and changing your life in a way that is authentic and empathetic without seeming like you’re being preached at. The main character makes you feel and you alternate between wanting to shake her and hug her. This book demonstrates that even those who seem to have it all may not if you look just below the surface, and that sometimes you have to get back to basics to find yourself. Thank you Beauty & Lace Bookclub and Michelle Montebello for the chance to read an advance copy of this book.

  31. I really enjoyed The Forever Place, the characters were well written, the plot easy to follow and the setting simply gorgeous.

    I felt that the issues were portrayed well, without overkill, although at times a little more detail wouldn’t have hurt.

    I’d love to read a follow up on both their relationships and the good that came from recovery.

  32. The Forever Place by Michelle Montebello is an amazing read. It is the first book I have read by Michelle, and I look forward to many more to come.

    The stories main character Marley who lives in Melbourne, a criminal lawyer, has fallen into a terrible way of life drinking daily trying to put the demons of her lawyer life out of her mind. After a car accident and talking with her sister Anna who gives her a wake-up call to change her life, Anna wants Marley to go to the distant island of White Cedar off the Canadian Coast to try and change her life and detox and become herself again.

    To get healthy again Marley needs to change her co-dependent relationship with Austin involving alcoholism, drug dependency, and stress of her criminal lawyer job. White Cedar is just the place to hopefully achieve this with its healthy lifestyle. Island life is very different to what she is used to and settling in at first is quite different until and her neighbour takes her under her wing.
    Here on the island Marley meets Lachlan and a romance is in the air. It has its ups and downs considering her past.

    The whole story is full of twists and turns on Marley’s recovery and for her to change her life and be loved and for her chance to love she learns that she needs to be truthful not only to herself but those around her.

    A wonderful read that really does portray the real struggle that many people deal with addiction.
    Would highly recommend “The Forever Place” to a wide audience.

  33. Thank you so much Beauty and Lace and Michelle for allowing me to have the privilege of reading and reviewing The Forever Place.
    I was honestly hooked from the start and could barely put it down. I was even reading it while doing the dishes and other housework.
    I fell in love with the main character Marley from the beginning, even though she made some questionable decisions.
    Marley lived a different life during the night than she did during the day.
    On the outside she had everything together, a very successful defence attorney who was brilliant at her job. Outside of work Marley was an out of control alcoholic who was in a destructive codependent relationship with a colleague.
    One case really effected Marley and she made more bad decisions that almost cost some innocent people their lives.
    Thankfully her wonderful sister gives her an ultimatum, go and live on an island where everyone is so healthy and happy and get herself sober while she is there, otherwise she will not be welcome in her nieces lives.
    Begrudgingly Marley goes. Michelle did a fantastic job of letting us readers know what detoxing can really be like.
    While on the island Marley met an amazing lady who taught her to cook and garden and keep herself sober.
    She also met an amazing man while there.
    I will not give away the ending but I will say that I definitely want to read Michelle’s other books.
    I highly recommend this book to everyone.

  34. I really enjoyed this book. The addiction to alcohol, and the subsequent issues it causes, are written in a raw, honest and thought provoking way.
    Marley stuffs up her life enormously with her heavy nights of drinking and hanging with the crowd that lives and parties hard.
    Her sister encourages her into rehab, but on a tranquil island.
    Here Marley dries out, truly finds herself, and ultimately, love.
    There are twists and turns, and a few times Marley slips and has a night of binge drinking, but pulls herself together, and gets back on track.
    As the months go by, and she grows as a person, she completely transforms her life, walking away from her high profile Lawyer career and those she works with who find it hard to accept her as the non partying Marley. She goes in a completely different direction, building open and honest, loving relationships with her sister and family, as well as the love she came to have on the island.
    A beautifully written book, which I enjoyed immensley, and highly recommend.
    Thank you to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read The Forever Place written by Michelle Montebello.

    Many thanks

  35. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Michelle Montebello for allowing me the opportunity to read this book.
    This is the first time I have read one of your books Michelle and wow. You captured me right from the first page I didn’t want to put it down. It also showed how criminal lawyers work and the addiction to alcohol beautifully. That this drug can affect everyone’s life’s no matter what background. It was easy reading and captivating watching Marley’s character develop throughout the book. I really enjoyed reading Forever Place and will be keeping an eye out for more of your books Michelle.

  36. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and MIchelle Montebello for the oppurtunity to read and review The Forever Place.

    This is the second book I have read by Michelle Montebello (The Lost Letters of Playfair Street was the other one) and I was not disappointed!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and will definitely be looking out for more books by Michelle to read!

  37. The Forever Place was the first time I had read an ebook, and it might sound odd, but I was worried that without a physical book I would find it more difficult to be immersed in the story as I love holding the physical book in my hands – not such a worry with this story as i was quickly drawn in to Marley’s world and character. Her tale and transformation was well written and enjoyable and I am glad I was able to read it. I hope to read more from Michelle Montebello!

  38. Thank you Beauty & lace club & author Michelle Montebello for the opportunity to read this via ebook.

    I was specially excited to read this as I also live in the Camden area, so to have a local author is wonderful! I will be looking out for more books written by Michelle.

    A touching story about the highs & lows of being a crimal lawyer, dealing with alcholism & other issues. Through some persuaian from her sister Anna she embarked on a journey to find heself again. A few twists & turns along the way kept me wanting to keep reading.

    Good luck on your future novels Michelle 🙂

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