A Tortuous Path: Atonement and Reinvention in a Broken System

| May 24, 2019


Awarded the Readers’ Favorite® 5-Star Seal (2019).

In this thought-provoking sequel to his first memoir, Trauma, Shame, and the Power of Love: The Fall and Rise of a Physician who Heals Himself, former elite cancer doctor and researcher, Christopher Pelloski, chronicles his compelling journey from federal incarceration to halfway house detention to the first few years of building a new “after” life. Alternating between humor, pathos, and measured outrage, Pelloski takes us with him as he weathers imprisonment, divorce, and medical board hearings, undergoes polygraph interrogations and court-mandated therapy, finds a new home, starts a new profession, reconnects with family and old friends, and forges new relationships in A Tortuous Path: Atonement and Redemption in a Broken System.

Diverse stories of those encountered along the way show the faces of those most affected by the failures and capriciousness of the American justice system—and demonstrate the essential value of kindness and second chances.


“Pelloski’s chronicle of his “Atonement and Reinvention” is unflinching and intriguing. He takes responsibility for his actions while maintaining a protective sympathy for his younger self, whose damaged innocence led him to “repeat, reenact, or re-experience his trauma” . . . a thoughtful and informative narrative.”—Kirkus Reviews

“A poignant, deeply personal sequel, astute and provocative; Pelloski ingeniously shares his illuminating saga, focusing initially on an archaic, punitive judiciary, then details growth that followed conscientious self-appraisal.”?David J. Tennenbaum, Ph.D., American Board of Professional Psychology (Forensic Diplomate)

“A timely and important work which presents, at the ground level, an American criminal justice system in desperate need of serious reform… Vulnerable and insightful, a debt of gratitude is owed to Pelloski, who gives a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves.”?Lachandra B. Baker, MBA, ABC, CTA, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Healing Broken Circles

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