Because He Could
OVERCOMING THE MONSTER/INNER STRENGTH
20th Century (multiple decades)
MARLIES: VARIOUS AGE THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT; A SMART, STRONG, AND CONFIDENT BUSINESSWOMAN WHO IS MARRIED TO PHILIP, A BRILLIANT, YET TOXIC AND EMOTIONALLY ABUSIVE MAN.
PHILIP: VARIOUS AGE THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT, MARLIE’S HUSBAND. A BRILLIANT AND SUCCESSFUL DOCTOR, BUT ALSO A DIFFICULT HUSBAND WHO PUT MARLIES THROUGH ALL KINDS OF EMOTIONAL TURMOIL.
LENA: PHILIP’S OFFICE MANAGER WHO WAS DEEPLY INVOLVED IN SOMALIFE. MARLIES DISCOVERS THAT SHE WAS ALSO HAVING AN AFFAIR WITH PHILIP.
EMILY: MARLIES’ CLOSE FRIEND FROM HER DRAGON BOAT TEAM SINCE 2001. EMILY OFFERS TO HELP MARLIES IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE DURING HER ORDEAL WITH PHILIP.
VALERIE: PHILIP’S SISTER AND A CLOSE FRIEND AND SUPPORTER OF MARLIES. VALERIE DEALS WITH A NUMBER OF TERRIBLE FAMILY TRAGEDIES THROUGHOUT THE BOOK.
BOB: AN AVID BIKER AND A KIND, LOVING MAN. MARLIES’ HUSBAND AFTER PHILIP’S DEATH.
“Because He Could” is a story about a brilliant doctor, of love and loss, and the dark side of power. It is about a marriage gone wrong and despite this, his wife learns to forgive him after his death to carry on his legacy.
Target Gender: Female Leaning
Germany> Camrose Alberta> Kelowna BC> UK
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: SomaLife Self Published
Year Published: 2021
A 6 year old emigrated to Canada with her parents in search of a better life after the war. Times were hard to begin with and everyone had to learn to fit in and survive.
After a divorce and a second bad marriage, her unfaithful husband dies and Marlies is forced to carry on or lose it all. It is a story of determination, struggles, and ultimately an ending that offers hope of a happier future.
Information not completed
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Plot - Other Elements
Happy Ending,Meaningful Message
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Marlies White
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Decisive,Engaging,Faithful,Flexible,Gracious,Honorable,Leader,Naive,Underdog,Obedient,Selfless,Visionary,Secretive,Strong Moral Code
Additional Character Details
Name: D. Philip White
Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Heartthrob,Educated,Leader,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Blunt,Power Hungry,Outspoken,Visionary,Sarcastic,Secretive,Sophisticated,Unapologetic
Additional Character Details
Name: Lena- not her real name to protect the guilty
Key Traits: Desperate,Insecure,Obedient,Secretive
Additional Character Details
Name: David Ward
Key Traits: Charming,Confident,Decisive,Engaging,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Leader,Masculine,Sexy,Skillful
I can see this book/story as a small series like those on Netflix. It takes the main character from a young age of 6 through to her late 60's. It covers a lot of lies and betrayals for decades with a husband who behaved that way because he could. So far, everyone who has read the book, which became a best seller on Amazon, have commented they could not put the book down and thoroughly enjoyed the journey they were taken on by the writer. There was so much more than was written in the book, and could be added if more detail was to be introduced to flesh it out. This story shows the resilience it took to survive 31 years of abuse and still come out on the other side relatively intact and able to carry on. It may show other women that they are not alone and abuse and betrayal need to be talked about and come into the light. I can now say what a brilliant man my husband was, and yet acknowledge that I did not deserve to be treated the way I was. You can choose to say you were a victim or say you were biding your time to come into the light and flourish. I chose to bide my time!
This honest and straightforward book is based on one woman’s real life experiences as the wife of a doctor who was both brilliant in his field of anti-aging medicine, but also toxic and emotionally abusive. After his unexpected death, the woman learns to let her inner light shine and find confidence in her own strength and power, as well as forgiveness.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
I do feel that the Book Profile accurately reflects the book for the most part, although it doesn't feel particularly relevant to mention Marlies' childhood in the short summary, as it plays a very small part in the book.
Draw of Story
The medical information in this book is extremely interesting and compelling. Marlies is also a highly likable narrator that any reader/viewer will find it easy to root for. Her voice is strong, engaging, and empowering.
At times the writing in this book felt a bit expositional and surface level. Jumping straight from one major life event to the next could feel a little taxing without more emotional connection. This is clearly an emotional story about a strong woman who endured many hardships over a long period of time. It would be beneficial to dive into her personal emotional journey on an even deeper level and really convey to readers how Marlies’ feelings about herself and about Philip changed over time. There are also some portions of the book that feel overly detailed and a little childish, such as the details of all the new hires at SomaLife and Marlies’ messy relationships with each of them.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
Marlies' story of strength and empowerment is the main hook of this movie, as is the 'Fountain of Youth' medical product.
Yes. Many people in unhappy relationships or in generally difficult situations in life would find this project relatable and empowering. For female viewers especially, it is easy to imagine this adaptation drawing a large fanbase.
In its current form, I believe this memoir might be best adapted in a made-for-television fashion on a channel such as Hallmark or Lifetime, so it would probably not have Awards potential.
Similar Films/TV Series
ENOUGH, DIRTY JOHN
What’s New About the Story
The way Marlies talks about her struggles is unique. She is honest, straightforward, and compelling. She also admits her own failings, which feels original. The medical details in this book are also incredibly original and interesting. Diving even more deeply into Marlies' emotional journey could make this story more unique, as could including some customer testimonials about SomaLife.
Marlies is extremely smart, competent, and naturally likable. Her ability to take a step back and assess the situation with Philip makes her stand out, as does her ability to forgive and let the past go.
Uniqueness of Story
I believe this is a rare gem for a certain kind of reader who is in a specific and similar situation to that of Marlies in the book, but it's not yet a rare gem for every reader. Unveiling more of Marlies' intimate emotional thoughts, doubts, dreams, fears, and hopes would make this story even more impactful for every possible reader.
Film: Indie, Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
While this book is very powerful, empowering, and impactful at times, it does have portions that drag (such as the business dealings) and feel a little petty and childish (such as Marlies' issues with various employees). It also still feels rather surface level at times and would be stronger with more emotional details.
Tips for Improvement
Added emotional depth from Marlies and some trimming of a few sections of the book would make me consider or recommend it.
This honest and straightforward book is based on one woman’s real life experiences as the wife of a doctor who was both brilliant in his field of anti-aging medicine, but also toxic and emotionally abusive. Her journey of finding her inner strength is one that spanned years.
What We Liked
This is an honest, engaging, and inspiring book. Many people will empathize with Marlies and see themselves and their relationships in her character. The honesty in this project is refreshing. It really feels as if Marlies is sitting down with readers and telling them her authentic story. Philip’s work with SomaLife and the Youth Formula also makes this book stand out more, as it is unique and engaging.
Film: This story feels perfect for a Lifetime or Hallmark movie adaptation. It has all the drama and tension required to make it an enticing movie, but it also has an inspiring and satisfying conclusion.
TV: This story spans many years, so it would definitely have plenty of stories for a television show. The characters also have plenty of drama and complex relationships. They are also nuanced and emotionally interesting characters, which would work well on a television show.
Key points: Honest story. Engaging and relatable premise. Likeable narrator. Inspiring message. Strong and descriptive writing.
We first learn that the narrator was married to Dr. Philip White, the developer of a product called SomaLife’s Youth Formula; it is similar to a fountain of youth product. Marlies’ goal is to inspire readers to pursue their passions and make their own choices in life.
Marlies was born in Germany in 1948. The family moved to Rutland when she was young and had a relatively happy childhood. She became a hairdresser and found work at a salon and at a local funeral home that needed help with their open casket funerals. The work was all right until a bout of lice inspired her to move on and try out new jobs.
Meanwhile her relationship with her current boyfriend, David grew closer and closer. They got married and Marlies felt relatively happy and lucky until David became increasingly angry and unfaithful. Marlies left and moved back to Canada.
When Marlies met Philip, she was his banker and he was a family doctor. They were an excellent fit, supporting each other and sharing adventures together. The two married in April of 1991.
Philip and Marlies bought a house she didn't initially want, and her parents moved in. The arrangement, however, worked quite well - but Philip began to get more critical, distant, and negative. Marlies felt like she could never be enough for Philip and she questioned his love for her. Philip was spending money faster than they could make it, and lying to Marlies on a regular basis.
Marlies went as far as talking to a divorce lawyer, but she agreed to try and fix things with Philip. After all, he wasn’t happy either. The next phase in her life would bring the product that would change both of their lives: SomaLife’s Youth Formula.
Before jumping into Philip’s time at SomaLife, Marlies shares a little more about his early life. Born and raised in Bristol, England, Philip knew from an early age that he wanted to be a doctor and he easily became one through excelling at school. Philip was fascinated with anti-aging medicine and believed it could be a possibility using human growth hormone therapy.
After the death of a close family member, Marlies and Philip worked to perfect the Youth Formula. If aging is like riding and elevator, then the Youth Formula is like a brake to slow it down. Marlies herself tried the formula before it was released in 1998, and she felt its results working.
Marlies and Philip worked together to get the company off the ground. They hired employees and learned about running a business. Philip made some poor decisions though. He hired employees who only wanted to exploit the company, and Marlies often found herself cleaning up the messes.
After years of employee turmoil and accounting mishaps, SomaLife was forced to fire nearly everyone in the company and scale down production. They were back where they started.
After another family tragedy, Marlies discovered that Philip had been having an affair with Lena, his office manager. Marlies terminated Lena and called Philip out on his lies, but he only denied the truth, which prompted Marlies to discover even more women he was having affairs with. She gave Philip options as to how he would proceed, but she didn’t realize the power he held over her.
Philip and Marlies tried to coexist in their home, since both parties refused to move out. In the midst of the turmoil with Philip, Marlies’ father’s heart gives out and he dies. The pain was devastating for Marlies and her mother.
After laying her father to rest, Marlies had to face her painful situation with Philip. He was becoming increasingly difficult to reason with, even implying he might commit suicide because of the situation. He didn’t though, and Marlies and Philip went on vacation for a week to try and reconcile. It was a wonderful week, but when they returned home, little changed.
In fact, Philip got worse during an argument about SomaLife’s CEO. He lost control and pointed a gun at Marlies. She was petrified. She really wanted to leave Philip and finally get a divorce, but she didn’t want to abandon SomaLife. Thinking of her father, Marlies decided to stand her ground.
Things did get better after a while and Marlies set some ground rules for Philip. However, she discovered that he was still seeing Lena and resigned herself to the fact that things would never get better. She kept busy with SomaLife and she loved the work she did there.
Tragedy struck when Philip was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Philip declined rapidly and died soon after his diagnosis. Marlies felt heartbroken to lose her husband, but she also felt relief at being free from their tumultuous situation.
Philip left a mess to clean up, both financially and emotionally. Marlies worked to save SomaLife and she forgave Lena, who was also a victim of Philip’s manipulation and abuse.
Marlies would go on to remarry with Bob, a biker who she shared a fairytale wedding with. Though her life is still difficult, she has learned to let the past go and always find the strength and confidence to speak out. Tragedies have taken place since Philip’s death, but now Marlies is prepared to deal with them. She will never let anyone try to hide her light again.