A Stop in the Park by Peggy Panagopoulos Strack (Self-Published, 2012, 372pp.)
Jamie and Michael Stolis have it all: a nice home in the thriving metropolis of Washington, D.C., two beautiful daughters, and all the material items they can afford—and yet, they couldn’t be more miserable. Michael, a lawyer, is always in a foul mood when he gets home, and feels unappreciated by his family. Jamie, a former news reporter-turned-stay-at-home mom, struggles to keep up with the kids and housework, and fears Michael’s nightly outbursts of temper. What starts out as mere discontentment builds up into outright misery. After a particularly vicious verbal battle, Michael and Jamie agree to a separation. Then, Michael meets an older gentleman playing blitz-chess in the park, and stops to challenge him to a game. What follows is a most unexpected friendship, and the wisdom and insight Michael gains from Rufus changes his outlook on life. Even better, Rufus’s advice just might save his marriage! A lovely, thought-provoking and inspirational story that examines how ordinary men and women are affected by today’s hyper-paced, technology-cluttered society.