Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience

Allison Pataki (The Accidental Empress) had built the life she'd dreamed of: a successful writing career, a thriving marriage to her college sweetheart, Dave Levy, and a baby on the way. But while en route to Hawaii for their "babymoon," Dave had a massive stroke. Their emergency landing in Fargo, N.Dak., changed not only their travel plans but the entire trajectory of their life together. Pataki chronicles their love story and Dave's recovery in a heartfelt memoir, Beauty in the Broken Places.

Pataki begins her narrative with their flight and Dave's stroke, then takes readers back in time to trace their relationship from its inception at Yale through their post-college days in Manhattan and Dave's medical residency in Chicago. In alternating chapters, Pataki interweaves the past with her painful present: the healthy, whip-smart, kind man she fell in love with, and the blank-eyed patient in the hospital bed. As Dave slowly recovers, Pataki wrestles with ongoing uncertainty. Although determined to support her husband no matter what, she's terrified he might never truly come back to her. Miraculously, Dave regained much of his physical and mental functioning, and Pataki explains the science behind his medical journey.

"I loved Dave as much as I'd loved him in college, but the love was different now, more textured," Pataki writes in her first chapter. Her story is an uplifting testament to faithfulness, daily courage and stubborn hope. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

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