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

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,525 ratings  ·  453 reviews
A deeply moving memoir about two lives that were changed in the blink of an eye, and the love that helped them rewrite their future

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 th
Paperback, 272 pages
Published February 2019 by Random House Trade (first published May 1st 2018)
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Caitlin No. There are moments in which Pataki talks about her faith but the passages are rare and towards the end of the memoir. The focus of the story is on …moreNo. There are moments in which Pataki talks about her faith but the passages are rare and towards the end of the memoir. The focus of the story is on how she meet her husband and his recovery from the stroke.(less)

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
5 poignant and brave stars to Beauty in the Broken Places! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

I have been a fan of Allison Pataki’s books because she writes in my favorite genre, historical fiction. In Beauty in the Broken Places, she bares her extraordinary heart in a personal memoir.

When she was five months pregnant, her young husband had a stroke while on a flight to their babymoon. Their lives were forever changed, but Allison easily found the silver lining and highlighted it in this book.

During his recovery,
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, nonfiction

“When Dave woke up from a near fatal stroke, age thirty, beautiful, seemingly strong and outwardly intact, he couldn’t carry memories from hour to hour, much less from one day to the next.”

I had enjoyed Pataki’s novel Where the Light Falls, so I was curious about her memoir concerning her husband’s stroke when she was five months pregnant. She spends a large portion of the beginning of the book bringing us up to date on how they arrived as this point. Their meeting, courtship, early marriage. Th
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I look forward to sharing this book with you all. Thank you so much for reading.
Canadian Reader
Rating: 2.5

On June 9, 2015, historical novelist Allison Pataki—who was then five months pregnant—and her husband, Dr. David Levy, were en route to Hawaii. Dave was about to enter the fourth year of his orthopaedic surgery residency at Chicago’s Rush University, and he and his wife were taking a much-needed break to recharge. He had been driving himself hard for years—since first entering medical school, in fact—and typically put in 20-hour days. Recently, most of those days had been spent seated
This book was one I read in one sitting. Well, not sitting down exactly :D I took it to bed to read and I didn't go to sleep until I was done.

Allison Pataki, pregnant with her first child, and her husband Dave, are on a plane for a "babymoon", traveling to Hawaii for a nice vacation before the baby comes. Their flight is interrupted when Dave innocently asks Allison to look at his right eye and see if it looks "funny". It does. It is completely dilated, unlike the opposite eye, and Dave suddenl
Camille Maio
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
Five stars to author Allison Pataki for opening up a window into the life of her family after a devastating and unexpected stroke befell her young husband. I know from experience that things we think we might have to face when we're older come as a great surprise when they happen many decades earlier. I was moved by her faith and the strength of her family, but also her honesty about the times she felt like giving up. A sure winner, Pataki's book will resonate with anyone who has struggled - tha ...more
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an emotional read. It is a memoir telling the heartbreaking story of recovery from a stroke. Dave Levy, a thirty year old orthopedic resident suffers a catostrophic brain injury. The author, Alison Patacki is pregnant and walks every step of the way with her husband through rehabilitation. Love and faith. Family and friends. Doctors and specialists. The letters Alison wrote through out the trying days of recovery show the strength and resilience of this love story. #beautyinthebrokenpla ...more
Allison Pataki and Dave Levy met while they were students at Yale University. They began dating and slowly realized that they each had met a soulmate. They married and began their lives together. Allison worked as a television news writer but hoped to eventually become a writer of historical fiction. Dave began medical school. In 2015, Allison and Dave found out that they were to become parents and decided to celebrate by going on a “babymoon” trip to Hawaii. While in flight, Dave turned to Alli ...more
Pam Jenoff
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Although I primarily feature fiction, I had to include this remarkable memoir by author Allison Pataki. Pataki was five months pregnant when her husband suffered a massive stroke on an airplane. Pataki's story of how she cared for her recovering husband is an uplifting tale of resilience and strength in the face of adversity. ...more
Linda Zagon
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Allison Pataki, Author of “Beauty in the Broken Places : A Memoir of Love, Faith and Resilience” has written an amazing, emotional, heart-wrenching ,captivating and thoughtful memoir. Can you imagine a thiry year old pregnant woman, and her thirty year old husband, (who is a third year medical resident), facing an unknow tragedy?

The author and her husband were off on a “baby-moon” to enjoy a much-needed vacation, w
Apr 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allison "Alli" Pataki never imagined that her babymoon trip would result in a hospital trip. Her thirty-year-old husband, Dr David Levy suffered a stroke while en route trip to Hawaii. Beauty in the Broken Places is a product of the letters that she wrote to her husband during his treatment. Allison shifts back and forth in time referencing their relationship journey while holding the hope that the "old Dave" come back to her.

Most people start these kinds of personal projects with the hope of he
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Memoir of how author (Allison) and her husband (Dave) survived his stroke at age 30.

Utilizing the letters and notes written during her husband Dave's recovery, the author of this beautiful memoir provided an intimate look at how she and Dave overcame his incapacitating stroke at age 30. Despite being a healthy, athletic doctor, Dave suffered a massive stroke while he and Allison were in a plane flying to their babymoon. Five months pregnant, what followed was Allison's account of their struggle
(3.5) Ernest Hemingway wrote that we are strong at the broken places, and Allison Pataki found that to be true when her husband, David Levy, a third-year orthopedic surgery resident in Chicago, had a near-fatal stroke at age 30. On June 9, 2015, Dave and five-months-pregnant Allison were on a flight from Chicago to Hawaii for their babymoon, planning to stop in Seattle to visit Dave’s brothers. But they never made it there. On the plane Dave told her he couldn’t see out of his right eye.The plan ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
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 ...more
“Beauty in the Broken Places,” is author Allison Pataki’s moving account of having her life upended when her 30-year-old surgical-resident husband experiences a devastating stroke while she is pregnant with their daughter.

Pataki uses two literary devices to tell the story. First, she alternates from past to present in each chapter, recounting how her relationship with her husband developed and relating the experiences she went through during his illness.

Then, she incorporates excerpts from let
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, medical
I was given an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It's scary to think that every single person on this planet could suffer a traumatic brain injury that will irreparably alter their plans for the future. Most of us get lucky and never have to face this conundrum, but Allison and her husband Dave are not so fortunate. Dave suffers a terrible stroke deep in his brain and must re-learn how to be a person again and at the same time, Allison gives birth to t
Marya Myers
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful look at the power of a relationship during a trying time. It reminds us all to believe in the strength of the human spirit. Thank you for sharing your story!
Donna Hines
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, arc
Beauty in the Broken Places is a powerful memoir about the power of love, the strength through adversity, and ultimately the will to survive.
This powerful, moving, intricate and very delicate topic of the power of sickness and the movement to heal through love is brought to you by Allison Pataki after her young husband Dave finds himself unconscious after having a massive stroke.
On their flight which was coined 'BabyMoon' having been 5 months pregnant Allison finds herself questioning why this h
Katie J
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This memoir moved a bit more slowly for me but it was definitely worth the read for the reminder that life can take us on incredibly unexpected and painful journeys but those paths can also highlight all that we have to be grateful for....the little things and the big things. One crazy coincidence that I discovered is that on an evening that Dave, the author’s husband was healing from his stroke on the neurology floor at Rush in the city, my husband was healing in the same place and I was downst ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book has written a few novels that have done well on the NY Times best-seller list. I haven't read any of them. This book, however, is kind of a religious book that doesn't seem aimed for a general audience, although it evidently has been. I was recommended this title from Amazon based on my interest in memoirs, and I don't think this one was written very well. The author is sincere and passionate in the telling of the narrative, but there's not a lot for the reader to take fr ...more
Kristen Cook - A Book Ninja
What a beautiful story with so many wonderful bits of wisdom. While I was reading this book, I felt like I was sitting down with a friend talking. Pataki does a splendid job of laying out the story of Dave and her courtship and early years in marriage mixed with the heartbreaking yet beautiful story of Dave's recovery.

Pataki does an amazing job balancing out the story of Dave's recovery. It would have been so easy for her as the wife and author to not look at his side of the story and only focu
Carla Suto
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES by Allison Pataki is a beautifully-written and deeply moving memoir of how the author and her family coped with the aftermath of her 30-year-old husband Dave suffering a sudden and life-threatening stroke while they were on a plane heading to a much-needed vacation in Hawaii. Five months pregnant with their first child, she is suddenly faced with making life-changing decisions and with the uncertainty of the future for her husband and new family. With honesty and cour ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring book!!! I was riveted reading about Allison and her husband, Dave. Five months pregnant, her husband suffered an extremely rare stroke on the plane on the way to their babymoon. What follows is their heart wrenching, yet full of hope story. I literally just couldn't put it down. I loved how it alternated between past and present, telling their story from the day they met up till today. Allison's faith was encouraging and heartwarming, and I pray that Dave continues to recover a ...more
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Allison Pataki's Beauty in the Broken Places is a memoir of love, faith and resilience. A beautifully written memoir of the strength of the human spirit and a loving relationship. 5 stars all the way. Put this one on your #TBR list. It will inspire you and move you to tears. ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it liked it
It's a full 3.5 stars for the honesty and clarity. Allison writes to save her own spirit. It's something that in the very pits of the valley of grief, sorrow, terrible uncertainty for the future- it's a lifeline. Especially for a writer by career path, like Allison.

She opens her heart in such an honest manner to the hurts, rejections, increased responsibility and numberless hours of work (and not only in the nurturing) that this terrible, terrible "bad thing" day twisted and imploded so much of
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible. Imagine a young couple, looking forward to the birth of their first child, flying west to enjoy a “baby moon”, when inexplicably the husband passes out on the airplane, thousands of feet in the air. The story of this journey opens with, “Is there a doctor on board?”

From there, the journey becomes one full of anxious unknowns and small joys. Allison Pataki pens this loving tribute to the man who holds her heart for all time. She does so openly and poignantly, sharing her shock, fears
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Rounding up a bit. This book resonated with me. The terrible thing, the before and the after. When someone is not the same. The ICU. This memoir is well organized and Pataki writes beautifully. I only wish she had acknowledged how lucky they were to have the support they had, the connections, the influence, the medical knowledge, the insurance, etc.
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Memoirs are not a preferred genre, but I almost finished this in one night!
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book hit me had as I had s stroke as well. If you or someone you love has had a stroke I recommend this book.
Sara Rieland
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! I couldn’t put it down and finished it in just a few days. This is a story of a deep and unconditional love shared by Dave and Alli, and the trials they faced at such a young age. May they be blessed with a lifetime of happiness.
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Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, has been featured on The TODAY Show, The NY Times, The Huffington Post, USA Today, FOX News, Morning Joe, and more.

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