Saratoga Springs, NY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/06/2012 -- Preceding its highly-anticipated launch, A Stop in the Park has proven that a debut novel holds no bar to buzz among the critics. In fact, writer Peggy Strack has received a steady stream of prestigious reviews for a novel that was inspired by an encounter on a park bench in Dupont Circle, DC.
Both promoting and questioning the traditional ‘American Dream’, the book explores how fast-paced modern life and unrealistic aspirations can destroy a dream, a life and a marriage.
The tale dubbed as "A dramatic escape into a poignant and beautifully written novel,” by Readers Favorite has an intricate and compelling synopsis:
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. 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 fulfilment, but is it too late to change a life, chase a dream, revive a marriage?
As the author explains, the book’s narrative was inspired by a real-world observation.
“While relaxing with my husband, Keith, on a park bench in Dupont Circle, DC, I witnessed a compelling interaction between an intense upscale white male who was losing a series of blitz chess games to an elderly African American male. The upscale man's wife and daughters waited impatiently as Dad and husband insisted on more games,” Strack explains.
Continuing, “It struck me how this family had all the trimmings of the “good life”—expensive clothes, attractive, healthy—yet the wife looked sad; the dad looked angry; and the daughters looked constrained in their prim outfits. They represented what so many strive for, but in the process had possibly lost something more valuable than the American dream—authentic living. It is on that day, over four years ago, that I decided to write that story.”
Having been urged by family to self-publish her novel, Strack has been overwhelmed by the consistent five-star ratings and rave reviews that her story has garnered.
Kirkus Review says, "Strack writes with clear, thoughtful and passionate prose, making for a tense and compulsively readable story of family redemption. An engaging and hope-filled novel that serves as a reminder of the difficult but joyful game that family life can be."
“It just goes to show the potential that self-published novels have in this day and age, if they are well-written and edited with care.” Strack concludes.
A Stop in the Park will be available from 20th September. For more information, please visit the author’s official website: http://www.peggystrack.com
Her progress can also be followed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/peggystrack
About the Author: Peggy Strack
Peggy Strack has B.A. in Journalism/Communications from the State University of New York. She studied fiction at East Line Books & Literary Center, The New York State Writers Institute and Writers Digest.
She 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. She has two adults sons and enjoys an active lifestyle that includes hiking, kayaking, and skiing.