DiscoverContemporary Fiction

The Cause Lives


Worth reading 😎

Government employee gunning for retirement is transferred to a new office and faces a host of problems within her new role.

This is a book I wish I could say more about. When we first meet our main character, Alice, she is burnt out to the point of exhaustion and eighteen months short of her early retirement date. Finding out she's being transferred under the rouse of volunteering to take the role within a new office of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission in Texas, she, of course, isn't very happy. Her unease with her new role not only stems from her own exhaustion with her job, but her battle with alcoholism is also beginning to take its toll on her day-to-day, and then there's her team...Or should I say a bunch of colleagues with little to nothing in common? This is when I started to veer off this book, but before we get to what I didn't enjoy, I'm going to mention what I did.

Firstly, I found Alice to be quite a resilient main character in the face of the endless troubles she faced from her team, her superiors and her own mental health issues. Her constant dedication to her job, even recognising her own biases and developing upon them in regards to victims is something I think many in high-pressure roles can relate too, and if they can't, bias recognition should be learnt. Just because one represents victims, no one can be guilty until proven so.

Secondly, I found the writing in this book to flow fairly well in setting the scenes we find our characters in. The cases are typically well thought out and detailed based heavily in the real cases the EEOC would actually conduct investigations into. As a law student, I enjoyed this, seeing how the author's real-life experiences have integrated realistically and skillfully into the storyline.

This all being said, however, there are some points for improvement within this book. Firstly, while I condemn Alice's character for recognising her biases, it's often a day late and a dollar short, particularly when it comes to one of her team, a former ex-con named JJ. JJ had served 20 years in prison for aggravated assault and Alice makes sure everyone and their granny knows she's not happy about this. If it's mentioned once, it's mentioned a thousand times. Also, the inadequacy of Alice's team probably would reflect current day mindsets within equality commissions, not only do we meet a homophobe, but we also have an ableist and a racist. Clearly the people you'd want caring for you in an equality related crisis. I understand these characteristics are added to the characters to make them seem more realistic and give them a basis to grow from, but I felt like it was simply used for character development rather than showing the structural problems that often exist within government agencies.

This is a perfect read for those who want a story that isn't ACTION BAM ACTION. This is more a lull, a gentle brew of sorts. Enjoyable but not without flaws.

Trigger Warning: Sexual assault, homophobia, racism, ableism, violence, mental health problems, addiction

Reviewed by

As a recent postgraduate, and a long term reader, I've recently started to take reviewing books more seriously, stretching it beyond a simple hobby I did occasionally on Goodreads. This year I have read over 80 books and plan to exceed 100 in the coming months. I review on all platforms.

About the author

Coauthor of Human Relations, 4th ed., her work has also been published in the Texas Bar Journal and the Houston Business Journal. Marie and her husband live on a ranch in central Texas. In her spare time, she supports a historic house and hangs out with her grandsons. view profile

Published on December 26, 2019

Published by

70000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Reviewed by