Me & Issy is the Cinderella story of author Rosalie Wise Sharp. Her rags to riches autobiographical account spans seven decades and details how a young, woman from a poor, immigrant family meets and falls in love with a man, Isadore Sharp, who would one day change the course of her life. Rosalie’s story tells of her early beginnings in a North Toronto home. Growing up in a Jewish family surrounded by households that were not of the same faith was difficult. The author speaks candidly about her parents and family and even steps back in time to a dark period when many of her relatives were lost in the Holocaust. However, her chance of meeting with the man who would eventually become her husband and hotel resort pioneer is a true love story that transcends time.
Their partnership in life and love would eventually yield a family of four sons and an ever-expanding Four Seasons hotel chain valued at $10 billion U.S. today. And to think that this was the brainchild of a man who once earned just $40 per week while his wife diligently raised their children and worked hard to kick-start her own career in art and design? With the triumphs, however, there was defeat. When their son Chris was diagnosed with cancer and eventually passed at the tender age of just 17, this powerful duo did not buckle under the sadness and the loss but were strengthened in their resolve to support other families and victims of cancer by establishing the Terry Fox Foundation. As an accomplished woman in her right, Rosalie continues to work in partnership with her husband to make a difference in the lives of her own family and in the lives of others.
Snooping around in our childhood is our day’s occupation during this year of the pandemic 2020. We are after answers. How did it happen that my husband and I are still best friends and lovers after 69 years? How did our random journeys from childhood fit each other as easily as my Apple earbuds slide seductively into their sleek white case? How did it happen that Isadore has become a global hero both to us and to his 40 000 employees? And why do we fly first class in a private plane and live in a rather nice house? Maybe the answer can be found in patching up the past, probably a regular pastime of all of us old fogeys although we don’t admit to being old, just “older”. Isadore and I come from similar privileged beginnings. Not moneyed but rich as only an immigrant household can be.
Me & Issy ~ A Four Seasons Romance is quite simply an enjoyable and inspiring memoir. Leaving no stone unturned, the author Rosalie Wise Sharp is honest and forthright in laying out her life to the world. Readers will appreciate the conversational style and will immediately feel at home with the author, as if they were sipping tea from her beautiful china, sharing secrets of her love life. Supplemented by family photos from the past to the present, as well as coloured photos of the author’s artwork, readers will gain a greater appreciation of Sharp’s seven-decade story with anecdotes that evoke emotions ranging from sadness to surprise, anger to happiness. All in all, this little piece of Canadiana was an inspirational read. Rosalie Wise Sharp’s memoir is more than just an immigrant success story but rather a tale of a lifelong love with an unfailing partnership and service to others at its core.
About the Author
Rosalie Wise Sharp was born and raised in North Toronto, where she currently lives. Rosalie is an interior designer, writer, painter, and mother. She is the editor of Growing Up Jewish and the author of Rifke; Ceramics, Ethics & Scandal; and China to Light Up a House. Her website RosalieWiseSharp.com, showing 225 of her paintings, was created by Greg Sharp.
- Publisher : ECW Press (Sept. 6 2022)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 280 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1770417125
- ISBN-13 : 978-1770417120
Stephanie Collins is a retired school administrator and teacher from Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. A lover of literature and an avid reader, Stephanie loves travelling, outdoor activities, and riding shotgun in her RV or on the back of a motorcycle. Stephanie enjoys writing about her travels, reviewing new titles, and is an aspiring children’s book writer. Her reviews can be found at Fireside Collections and you can follow her on Twitter @MrsCollinsNL.