‘Beauty in the Broken Places’

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — Author Allison Pataki will read from her new memoir, “Beauty in the Broken Places,” on Saturday, May 5, at 5 p.m. at Words Bookstore, 179 Maplewood Ave. in Maplewood.

Memoir is usually not the first genre that comes to mind when people think of Pataki — she’s a celebrated, NY Times bestselling historical fiction author, who has written accounts based on powerful and forgotten women in history, and what compelled her to write a memoir at 32 was an experience she never dreamed of having: at 5-months pregnant, her perfectly healthy, third-year resident husband, Dave, had a stroke at 30 years old. The two were on a plane to Hawaii for a much-needed vacation: Pataki had just delivered the manuscript for her next book and her husband was finally taking a break from his grueling schedule as a surgical resident at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. When Dave turned to her and asked “does my eye look strange?” Pataki could never have anticipated what was going to happen next.