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Publisher's Summary

The harrowing but ultimately life-affirming story of a young woman, pregnant with her first child, who is on a plane with her 30-year old physician husband when he has a near fatal stoke.

On the flight to their "babymoon" in Hawaii before their first child arrived, Allison Pataki's husband turned to her to ask if his eye looked strange, and then suddenly lost consciousness. After making an emergency landing, they discovered that Dave, a lifelong, healthy athlete and orthopedic surgery resident at Rush Medical School in Chicago, had suffered a rare, and often fatal, stroke.

Dave was one of the lucky ones though, and he survived, but the man who woke up from his coma was not the same man Allison had fallen in love with at Yale, the man she had given a four leaf clover to the night they got engaged with the caption: "May we always remember how lucky we are."

In this stirring, deeply personal memoir, Pataki recounts the challenging year that followed: Dave's turbulent road to recovery; the joyous birth of their daughter; the struggle and isolation of being a caretaker; the support from family and loved ones; and her own reexamination of their future with the understanding of how fragile life is and how lucky we are to have the chance to live it.

©2018 Allison Pataki (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"A beautifully woven, suspenseful love story with a stunning victory, reminding us of the resilience of the human spirit, and that anything is possible with a loving tribe." (Marcia Gay Harden, Academy Award-winning actress and author of The Seasons of My Mother)

"A best-selling historical novelist's account of how she survived the harrowing year following her young husband's unexpected stroke.... The strength of this end-of-innocence book lies in its demystification of the idea that strokes only occur in older people.... [A] heartfelt account of dedication and devotion." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This is the kind of book that reminds us to slow down, to take stock of our good fortune and the small, everyday blessings we mostly take for granted as we rush through each day." (from the foreword by Lee Woodruff, number-one New York Times best-selling author of In an Instant)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Heidi
  • Plano, TX United States
  • 06-19-18

A Most Remarkable and Inspirational Story

I loved the audible presentation of Beauty in the Broken Places! Alison Pataki narrates her own book in such a warm and comfortable, familiar style that it seems like she's telling me the story over a cup of coffee on the backyard porch. This book was particularly meaningful to me as my wife and I are starting down the frightening path of treatment for my recently diagnosed cancer. While I know TBI and cancer are very different and present their own unique challenges, Allison's story gives me hope and comfort, and the courage to face my upcoming cancer treatment. Her story makes me even more grateful for the blessings of my own family and friends, especially my wife of 33 years and our seven children and six grandchildren. Thank you for sharing your journey.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Makes you believe in marriage vows again!

As a stroke survivor, I have a biased connection with the story. I would buy a copy for all of those taking care of a spouse who has suffered a stroke. It is a poignant story told in plain and simple language that equates to a conversation with the author. Very special book written by a caregiver surviving emotional and physical challenges of coping with the aftermath of a stroke.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Touching Story of Love and Commitment

Sweet story I survival and thriving in the face of adversity. Loved this tender book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So inspiring!

So real and powerful all of the wise and candid words shared in this story. Everyone, read it and learn how to handle things with grace and gratitude!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amateur writing

The story is good but someone else should have done the writing and narration. What a horrible thing to go through but she should have had help with the writing. It felt a little boring and long when she went back to the past and dating days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy
  • Long Beach, US, Canada
  • 05-14-18

Comes off as amateurish

A great idea for a story, but not well developed and timeline alternates between present and past, making about 1 year of time seem like forever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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chindi & monk repeat journey of the bad thing 2016

bawled my eyes out...it is happening now for our young family of 6 plus he was a MD...law school AND med school now devestatingly APHASIAC with physical issues of blindness, paralysis, seizures

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Incredible story of understanding & marriage

Loved it. Outstanding insight from the story & deeply moving narration. Couldn't wait to read.