Excerpt from Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Beauty in the Broken Places

A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience

by Allison Pataki

Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki X
Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki
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  • First Published:
    May 2018, 272 pages
    May 2019, 272 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Rebecca Foster
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About this Book

Print Excerpt

Oh, you're on the field hockey team? I am seriously considering intramural Ultimate Frisbee.

And so it goes.

I was out with a big group of people on a Thursday night. It was a quintessential college bar called Old Blue, attached to the lobby of a New Haven hotel, with green carpeting and a big wooden bar in the center with cheesy gold accents. We were freshmen, only eighteen at the time, and so we were not exactly permitted to walk in through the front door of this bar. Our way in came instead from sneaking down the adjacent alley, hopping a chain-link fence, and slipping through the back door of the hotel. From there, after a discreet amount of time (spent hiding in the hotel lobby bathroom), we would slide our way through the lobby and into the bar, hopefully without catching the attention of the doorman on the other side. It was not a sure thing; Thursday nights at Old Blue were notoriously risky, made all the more fun by these thrilling elements of adventure and mischief and, if successful, triumph.

That night, our attempt was successful, and my friend Marya and I slipped giddily into the bar. Very quickly, Marya became engaged in a chummy conversation with a guy I had not yet met. Marya played on the women's lacrosse team, and I quickly gathered that this guy, Dave, was on the men's lacrosse team, and that the two of them already had mutual friends and experiences in common.

As I stood there, the unathletic odd one out, I observed Dave. I noted his fit, well-built physique, his quick quips and easy laughter. His interest in a friendly chat with Marya. His apparent lack of interest in talking with me. At one point he turned to me and asked: "Where do you go to college?"

I stared at him in silence, taken aback. I went to the same college he did. The college whose campus literally enfolded the bar in which we stood. The college after which this bar, Old Blue, was named. Had he really just asked me that?

Excerpted from Beauty in the Broken Places by Allison Pataki. Copyright © 2018 by Allison Pataki. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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