Title: Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience
Author: Allison Pataki
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: May 1, 2018
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Five months pregnant, on
a flight to their “babymoon,” Allison Pataki turned to her husband when
he asked if his eye looked strange, and watched him suddenly lose
consciousness. After an emergency landing, she discovered that Dave—a
healthy thirty-year-old athlete and surgical resident—had suffered a
rare and life-threatening stroke. Next thing Allison knew, she was
sitting alone in the ER in Fargo, North Dakota, waiting to hear if her
husband would survive the night.
When Dave woke up, he could not
carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next.
Allison lost the Dave she knew and loved when he lost consciousness on
the plane. Within a few months, she found herself caring for both a
newborn and a sick husband, struggling with the fear of what was to
As a way to make sense of the pain and chaos of their new
reality, Allison started to write daily letters to Dave. Not only would
she work to make sense of the unfathomable experiences unfolding around
her, but her letters would provide Dave with the memories he could not
make on his own. She was writing to preserve their past, protect their
present, and fight for their future. Those letters became the foundation
for this beautiful, intimate memoir. And in the process, she fell in
love with her husband all over again."
My Two Cents:
Many people take a marriage vow that says you will take care of each other in sickness and in health. Many people don't think that you are going to have make good on that promise early on in your marriage. As Allison and Dave find out in "Beauty in the Broken Places," this isn't always the case and sometimes life throws you curve balls that can seem insurmountable. Allison and Dave were on their babymoon when Dave was struck by a stroke that leaves him clinging to life. Allison almost loses the father of her child and her beloved husband. Together they will triumph and show that there truly can be beauty in the broken places.
My husband and I are in our early thirties. We have two young kids. We have a happy life and we are totally guilty of thinking that we are invincible. It's easy to do that and to lose the idea that anything can happen and life can throw you those proverbial lemons even during the happiest times in your life. Alli and Dave are in their prime too and I think it was the similarities between us and our relationships that really pulled me into the book.
Allison, up until this book, was best known for her historical fiction (which I have loved). This initially drew me to the book but I stayed for the great detail that Allison gave about all that Dave had to go through to recover and all that she had to do herself in order to get herself through his recover. The recovery from a stroke is truly amazing. I loved reading and was so inspired by both Dave and Allison in this book.
I love books that showcase the triumph of the human spirit and this book certainly does that. If you want to be super inspired, this is the perfect pick!