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Family of Choice: Raising Each Other


Published Dec. 21, 2023

Gatekeeper Press

446 Pages


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Micky McHale comes to in a stranger’s bed, having missed the cruise ship and her company’s awards dinner. Her irate boss threatens to fire her. She calls her sponsor from a prior stint in A.A. Lillian Meadows assigns Brad Mueller to co-sponsor Micky. Fresh off moving from his abusive lover’s home, quitting smoking and house-hunting, he’s reluctant to work with “that train-wreck.” Lillian struggles with writer’s block and a hot deadline for early chapters of her book about her widowhood. Her sponsee and priest, the Reverend Sally Wise, offers to read drafts and help her move on. Sally’s estranged daughter shows up and overdoses on heroin. Revived with Narcan, she refuses treatment. Later, she intentionally ODs in a car she parks at her mother’s church. Her note forbids any service, as she didn’t believe in God. This shakes Sally’s faith in her value as a priest.



Praise for Family of Choice: Raising Each Other



"Family of Choice is an intimate exploration of relationships and the long work of healing. With compelling characters and nuanced prose, this book sweeps you up in its heartfelt journey. I couldn't put it down!"

—The Rev. Leah Romanelli DeJesus


"Overall, a funny, warm book that explores how the family we choose can be more important to our emotional and spiritual growth than the family we are born to. With humor, snappy dialogue, and a bit of spice, there are deeper messages of life's lessons, human growth and maturity, spirituality, and coping with grief and loss. Eminently readable, you'll enjoy meeting Micky, Brad, Lillian and Sally, and wish they were your family, too!"

—Kathleen R. Ashton, Ph.D., ABPP



I was captured by the depth of this story and the characters as well as the author's ability to draw me into this close-knit group of friends. I felt excitement, joy, and sorrow throughout and was pleasantly surprised by unexpected outcomes. Not only is the book a great read, it offers real insight into the complexities of love, faith, life, and death. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

—The Rev. Vincent Black