The Perfect Marriage by KIMBERLA ROBY LAWSON

In the beginning Denise and Derrick and there one daughter, Mackenzie do have the perfect life. Imperfections only are in their pasts, their childhoods. Neither Denise nor Derrick came from perfect home environments. It's easy to see what has gone wrong in Derrick's life. His parents are deeply involved with drug addiction and still fighting and clawing there way out of the horrible jungle of drug abuse. Still, it seems the drugs are winning in his parents' life. Whereas Denise's parents seem perfect. Perhaps their problems are more sinister than the problems of Derrick's family because everything seems perfect between Wilma and her husband. These past ghosts wind their way through the lives of Denise and Derrick and finally,  touch the life of their daughter, Mackenzie.

The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Roby Lawson is about occurring and reoccurring drug addiction between two married people. Denise and Derrick are leading the good life: fine home, upscale, professional careers, beautiful cars and a daughter who seems like the perfect child. They have it all. However, just when they are in the groove of feeling totally comfortable disaster strikes in the form of death. Derrick's brother dies of cancer. This death fills Derrick with guilt because he had not talked to his brother for a very, very long time due to a dept owed him by his brother, D.

The story of this family is a sad one but not totally a tear jerker. There are the good lessons which come from the bad times in our lives. It's also true, I think, what I've heard over and over again. When we hit bottom, there is no place but up. I grew anxious. I worried because it seemed there was no way out for this family. Everything seemed darker than dark. I hope to remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to also remember there is no problem that can not enter the doors of my soul and rest there for a very long time. Denying there is a problem only makes the situation worse. It is true. There for the Grace of God go I. In this life there is no time or opportunity to say 'I am stronger than......." There is always something or someone stronger than me.

I admit to not knowing my breaking point. The point where doing something totally dangerous, scandalous or foolish could change my whole life into a fantasy from hell. Life is a daily push with battles I lose and other battles I win. A horrific problem does not have to be drug abuse. This book, novel, can fit any dire circumstances.

 I remember reading a book, a novel, by Victoria Christopher Murray titled Never Say Never. That title came back to me while reading this novel, The Perfect Marriage. At one point, Derrick and Denise find themselves screaming at the top of their voices and almost coming to blows. They never thought they would get to the point of saying "get out! Stay away from me. Don't touch me. etc. The words most of us have saidwhen very angry. However, they did say those words and tossed blame through the air like two children on a playground: I wouldn't have done it if you...., You made me...., and on and on.

I also learned if there is any way possible our children, the next generation, must be taught that addiction to drugs can overcome the strongest person. Ben Franklin had a wonderful character and made building character one of the daily duties of his life. I seriously doubt if even a person as strong as he could have taken one puff, one sniff or one needle filled with a poisonous drug and given it up in a snap.  I do believe drugs can make us disown or forget our children, our most important interest in life. Kimberla Roby Lawson proves this through the life of Mackenzie. Mackenzie is a darling child. Still, Mackenzie is almost dead, called back to life, on Code Blue, and her mother, Denise, rushes to the elevators to meet Butch, a drug dealer. He will sell her what she needs to get over this tough spot. She will just go back this one time and then, not again.

Without reading the novel, it's impossible to imagine the many ways these two people find to ruin their life in order to relax with Vicodin, cocaine or what they said would never be taken "crack, rock." What a relief when at the hospital all join hands, a bit stubbornly, to pray for this family's situation to change so that Mackenzie can see her parents living the way she wants them to live.

In the end there is a change in the way Denise, Derrick and Mackenzie live their lives. Money, expensive cars and restaurants take a back seat. I marvelled at their courage to make these new decisions and the bravery to bring their family back together again. The novel is true to life and thought provoking and most of all unforgettable.

At the end of the novel, Ms. Lawson, the author, has written helpful sources for those families in need.
kimroby

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