"God's purpose for each of us is to become fully alive."

Steeped in the language of Christianity, this title is a memoir that will inspire and motivate both the devout and secular-minded reader caretaking a loved one after a cancer diagnosis. Aimed specifically at couples, the multidimensional book also serves as a detailed self-help book with a theme of fostering communication, understanding, growth, and devotion in marriage.

Chris and Mari Martin's encounter with his stage III-IV throat cancer (with the added challenge of diabetes) has a positive ending. Still, theirs was a long journey fraught with steep hills and deep valleys. They had to embrace the hope, faith, and intent needed to navigate the oncological treatment that would place Chris nearly at death's door before true healing could begin. The couple, gifted with their strong relationship and shared faith, though blindsided initially, soon stood up to the challenge with the assistance of their support network of prayerful family and friends. Mari, a distance runner, reveals the process as similar to the marathons that she continued to train for and participate in during Chris' illness, a self-care routine that brought her balance and peace.

This articulate, well-organized, and well-researched narrative thoroughly addresses the many questions that arise during cancer treatment. The bonus is receiving detailed relationship advice based on Chris and Mary's involvement with Kolbe's suite of assessment tools for self-awareness. Kolbe measures "four striving instincts that we all share universally: the instinct to probe, the instinct to pattern, the instinct to improvise, and the instinct to demonstrate." Armed with this understanding, Chris and Mari were able to support one another's differences. Their personal experiences highlight both the strain and potential of creating a stronger marriage bond that illness can foster, a potential blessing and gift. Readers will understandably hope for more inspirational books from this author.

A 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award Category Finalist

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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