Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Stop In The Park by Peggy Panagopoulos Strack

4.5 Star

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.

Kathryn - 4.5 Star

I judged this book by the cover and now I’m a tiny bit ashamed of myself because my judgement was way off.  To be fair to Strack’s cover though (having now read the novel) I can see how they were probably drawing on the peace being sought throughout the story- the shafts of light and the greenery is inspirational and much of the novel left me with these same feelings.  Initially though I just thought I was going to be wading through more description than I like…

Although we hear the voices of both the husband and wife throughout A Stop In The Park, the main story I was drawn to was about the husband, Michael, and the personal relationships with his children, wife, boss, and new friend Rufus.  It made me think a lot about my own relationships with my children and husband, it made me tap into something I’ve been hovering around for a while personally. The balance between personal peace and contentment, while taking care of your family financially and physically, is hard to maintain. A Stop In The Park focuses particularly on one parent being out at work and the other being the stay-at-home parent. This continuous balancing act needs to be evaluated and re-evaluated to make sure everyone is getting what they need.  While children are small their needs take over almost every waking moment for all caregivers and there is a real danger of losing oneself and letting relationships slide.  I was reminded of this while reading this book and I thank Strack for that.  I felt she gave great insight into a man’s perspective- Michael had strong role and yet she crafted his worries and insecurities into the plot without him losing his male persona.  Jamie was also well personified- she had realistic problems and some wonderful moments of enlightenment as well as a few moments of madness (which made me laugh!).

The novel is wonderfully written, elegantly insightful and the characters could be your friends, neighbours or yourselves. I was very happy with the ending, was actually pleased for Michael and Jamie as if I knew them. I’m sorry I judged this book the cover but am glad I can always convince myself to give something a shot!

Thank you to Peggy Panagopoulos Strack for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

Connect with Peggy:


  1. Definitely looking into this! I need to start making more time in my day to read a book! I miss getting lost in stories! This makes me excited to pull out the kindle and read :)

  2. it really was inspiring!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...