Title: A Stop in the Park
Author: Peggy Strack
Format: Paperback and eBook
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
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About the Book:
Michael Stolis, a DC attorney, is frustrated by twelve-hour work days, tightly scheduled weekends, and his family’s chaotic habits. He explodes over minor irritations like being stuck in traffic, and his tantrums need to stop. His disillusioned wife, Jamie, is sick of his anger outbursts, and wants him out of her life. Michael longs to reignite the passionate love they once felt for each other. Jamie prefers to spend her time fostering illicit Internet relationships. Michael had simply followed his Greek father’s instructions for a successful life, but something went terribly wrong. A lucrative career, a Georgetown brownstone and a BMW coupe didn’t deliver happiness as promised.
When his family is about to implode, Michael finds hope through Rufus, an astute retired bus driver he meets over a game of blitz chess in Dupont Circle. Michael is intrigued by Rufus’s prescription for fulfillment, but is it too late to change a life, chase a dream, revive a marriage? Michael must decide how much he is prepared to lose if he embarks on a quest so very different from the world he created. Touching, romantic, and deeply provocative, A Stop in the Park, follows the story of a man and a woman who yearn to escape the trap of the modern American dream.
Every now and then a book comes along that is so wholly universal to anyone who has been in, or is in a relationship that the story touches you in unexpected ways. Such is the case with A Walk in the Park, Peggy Strack’s debut offering.
This is a story of a relationship in crisis: not a big dramatic crisis, but those everyday struggles that appear in relationships after the shine is off the penny, the kids need new shoes and everything is far more expensive and time consuming than you expected. Those little quirks that were cute are now giant raving red flags in front of a bull, and forgetting to pick up your socks is a declaration of war. That quiet war that builds to nuclear proportions with sighs and huffs, stolen glares and cold shoulders.
That ideal dream family of successful working father and the stay at home mum with clever kids: it all looks so good from the outside looking in. What Strack does so successfully is show us what is behind the curtains, indeed what is inside the characters heads and hearts. Richly detailed and honestly voiced, even their moments of irrational irritation with one another makes sense as Michael and Jaime struggle with the question of fulfillment: and does that include their marriage.
Carefully you are drawn in to the story, and you will find your sympathies switching as their stories are revealed, such is the cleverness and honesty of the writing. With the inclusion of Michael’s new friend and advisor, Rufus , another highly complex character with plenty to say about defining the important things in life, love and marriage come to light in ways that will enchant and enlighten.
Truly a cleverly crafted story, this was a book that engages a reader from the beginning, and lasts long after the final page.
I received an eBook copy from the author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
About the Author:
Peggy Strack writes popular fiction about challenges people face in the fast-paced and often daunting contemporary world. She is excited to launch her debut novel, “A Stop in the Park,” the story of Michael and Jaime Stolis, a disillusioned married couple who yearn to escape the trap of the modern American dream. It has received three out of three, five star reviews from Readers Favorites and Kirkus Reviews says, “Strack writes with clear, thoughtful, and passionate prose, making for a tense and compulsively readable story of family redemption.”
Peggy also hosts the award winning blog, “Kick Back Moments,” for the Saratogian Newspaper. She is a speech-language pathologist living in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband, Keith. Peggy has two adults sons and enjoys an active lifestyle that includes hiking, kayaking, and skiing.