We finally had a date night!!! + “Pieces” by Maria Kostaki

Yes, Memorial Day weekend was crazy. But we were done with everything by Sunday afternoon. After a few moments to relax, my husband and I set out on a date night–a very rare occurrence lately.

Because the fun, and the funny, happened later, I’m going to fill you in on the minutiae of the evening. Our town, Delaware, Ohio, has a great downtown, and it was a fabulous evening. We headed to a favorite spot, a small restaurant (12 West, if you’re around here) and had oyster tacos (yumm!!) and a couple of beers.

After dinner we started walking to the college stadium in town-Ohio Wesleyan’s Selby Field. We were heading that way to watch an Ohio Machine game. The Machine is a Major League Lacrosse team, and they play in our town! It’s an awesome evening of fun. We regularly take our girls, but tonight it was just us.

It was about a three block walk, past the saddest piece of history in our town. Somehow they tore down the historical house where Rutherford B. Hayes was born (he was the 19th United States president, FYI) and put up a gas station. But there is a plaque right out in front, making it all better (we call it the Rutherford B. Hayes Memorial Gas Station).

We walked then walked past our church, St. Mary’s, and we saw the most interesting site. A HUGE snake crawling up the s11350672_10206643972799381_4012339909928314674_nteps, searching for sunshine. It was at least four feet in length, and fat. He was just a rat snake, and I’m not really freaked out by snakes, but still . . . My husband was very brave and herded it down the steps. There is so much biblical and Catholic ideology going on here . . . but I stuck with just calling my husband St. Patrick for the rest of the night.

The field was just around the corner, so after the snake adventure, we continued on. We got to the stadium, and sat down. This is my first game of the year, but Ted has been a few times already this year. And he’s very social. So he had to make the rounds to everyone near and far. Spreading cheer and love of lacrosse.

It was a great game. The Machine killed it, winning 20-12. It’s a fun sport, so action packed and constantly moving. These guys play because they love the game and 11354930_10206644351848857_1165621678_n (1)want to keep playing after college. They’re enthusiastic and athletic, and the game is fun to watch. We are really lucky to have The Machine; the games are always exciting and fun.

That was our big night, a perfect night for us. We got to spend time together. We ate really good tacos. We drank some good beer. We watched a great game.

And we saw a huge snake.

Now, onto my review of Maria Kostaki’s Pieces.

When you are uprooted and tossed aside for much of your life, where is your place? Where do you belong? These are the questions Sasha, the main character in Kostaki’s Pieces, must answer in order  to put the pieces of her life in place.

The Premise

Living in Russia with her grandparents after her mother left for a better life and a new husband in Greece, Sasha is happy and loved. But she is whisked off for a better, more Western way of life in Athens, a life with her mother, stepfather, and new little brother. The life sound wonderful, but the truth is soon made evident to Sasha. Her stepfather is physically abusive, her mother is psychologically abusive, and both are alcoholics.

The novel flashes back and forth in time, telling Sasha’s history in pieces from different parts of her past. Sasha is shown to be a gifted artist, but unable to shed her inner demons. And her life cannot be full until she figures out where she fits, where she can be home, and where she can be loved.

My Thoughts

Sasha’s story is heartbreaking and sad, but it is also a story of the testament of human resilience and the beauty of true friendship.

Pieces was compelling and parts of it were great, but the flash-back-and-forwards were disjointed and confusing. I got lost sometimes trying to figure out where Sasha was at the time; Russia, Greece, America, even South America.

I wanted to like it, and I did like parts of it. But I didn’t love it, and I couldn’t stand the jarring transfers of the story.

I give it 2.5 stars.


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