Marinating in Dream Sauce
by Grant Handgis
Author Reputation Press

"Enrolling in college gave me a sense of purpose for which I had never enjoyed."

This book begins with the story of an "Air Force brat" who is made to feel insecure by his stepfather. The opening incident is about failing to get to see a girl's genitals when he is nine, and then skips to his time as a soldier in Vietnam at eighteen, his wounding, and return home at nineteen. Next, he mentions his early marriage, children, and losing them to his departing wife. Then, in more detail, he recalls getting his daughter and son back in his custody, being a good father, and yet becoming aware that he lacks some necessary skills. The rest of the book follows his many jobs as he builds a career in photography, owns a gallery, and finally produces videos. The last chapters give Handgis' advice about settling into retirement with his second wife and his views on how to understand the meaning of life.

When reading this book, it soon becomes evident that the author has put a lot of time and sincerity into this recounting of his life story. His openness in sharing his worries, challenges, and successes works to evoke sympathy in readers. However, the narrative's overall effectiveness would have been enhanced through some additional editing and the inclusion of more details about the people in his life. He compliments some of his best companions and describes his children but interestingly leaves his second marriage undescribed. The final philosophical section may appeal to self-help readers as it speaks of his metamorphosis into a super confident person who is happy to share his advice on how to understand life.

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