Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (June 19, 2012)
Purchase: Amazon | BN
Caught up in grief after the death of her sister, Nina Sankovitch decided to stop running and start reading. For once in her life she would put all other obligations on hold and devote herself to reading a book a day: one year of magical reading in which she found joy, healing, and wisdom.
With grace and deep insight, Sankovitch weaves together poignant family memories with the unforgettable lives of the characters she reads about. She finds a lesson in each book, ultimately realizing the ability of a good story to console, inspire, and open our lives to new places and experiences. A moving story of recovery, Tolstoy and the Purple Chair is also a resonant reminder of the all-encompassing power and delight of reading.
Have you ever fell in love with a book? Well, I fell in love with Tolstoy and the Purple Chair. I did not want this book to end. As a matter of fact, I even stalled to finish it.
Nina Sankovitch is a beautiful writer. Every page of this book spoke to my heart. I will forever remember this exquisite and graceful memoir.
This memoir is about how Nina Sankovitch dealt with the untimely death of her sister Anne-Marie. She decided to read one book a day for an entire year. She did this as a way to grieve and heal.
Now, for a old bibliophile like me, this equates to heaven. I couldn't help but live vicariously through this inspiring memoir.
Tolstoy and the Purple Chair begins with the stark reality of Anne-Marie's illness and all that it encompasses. I felt as if my heart was going to burst from sorrow. I was in tears and felt everything Nina Sankovitch described. If I could have jumped into the pages to console her and her family, I would have.
I was grateful for Nina Sankovitch's generosity in writing this poignant and transparent memoir. I felt as if I was walking alongside her on a beach and listening to the twists and turns of her life, her story. She really won my heart.
I enjoyed the progression of this memoir; the richness, nuances and color. There is beauty exuding from each page. Each chapter brought insight, wisdom and meaning.
The following quote encapsulates this memoir for me:
"I was ready--ready to sit down in my purple chair and read. For years, books had offered to me a window into how other people deal with life, its sorrows and joys and monotonies and frustrations. I would look there again for empathy, guidance, fellowship, and experience. Books would give me all that, and more." (Page 31)I wholeheartedly agree, books do that for me too. Nina Sankovitch and I are kindred spirits for sure.
I highly recommend Tolstoy and the Purple Chair. I do hope Nina Sankovitch writes another book because I definitely want to read it.
In conclusion, I want to thank Regina Eckes of HarperCollins who generously sent me a complimentary copy of this book to review.
ReadAllDay.org in 2008, and at the end of her reading, she was profiled in the New York Times. She continues to review books on ReadAllDay.org and for the Huffington Post. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and four sons.