Voices from the Fallen: True Stories of Addiction, Grief, Recovery, and Courage
Michael K. Tourville
Burning Bulb Publishing (2021)
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (8/2021)
“Voices from the Fallen” is a collection of stories by Michael K. Tourville introducing readers to 8 different individuals who have struggled with substance abuse. Each story shows how the individual got into their substance abuse, what they lost, what they gained, and, if they recovered, how they were able to find a clearer head. Note: Some of these stories are very emotional and could be hard for some readers.
What I enjoyed is that each story has a beginning of the abuse, middle, and an end, some not always fortunate. I found it interesting that some of the stories contained prescription pill abuse, which many books of this type do not touch upon. Many of these stories dealt with heroin addiction. I do wish that there were other stories about different types of drugs, like cocaine or meth, and how those drugs have affected many individuals. Covering a wider range of addictions would connect to a larger audience.
Tourville did a great job of writing these stories and using the individual’s own voices to convey the cycle of substance abuse. It shows that it is not always a straight and even path. There are many curves, hills and mountains that the addicted and their families need to climb in order for the addict to become clean and sober—if that path is chosen. The stories show that recovery is not always easy and clearly demonstrates how these individuals struggled to get there, if they were able to get there in the first place. Each story ends with a clinician’s look at the individual’s story and points out questions that add insight.
Overall, if you know someone who is struggling with substance abuse or if you, yourself, are struggling, “Voices from the Fallen” by Michael K. Tourville could help you realize that there is help out there and show that each person’s recovery path is different, but eventually maintainable. This book could also be helpful to clinicians or people working with substance users who are trying to become clean and sober.