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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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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