The rags to riches tale of a larger-than-life romance of over seven decades
Me & Issy is a love story about how a troubled and deprived child grew up and chanced to meet a man who worshipped her, brought her a fantasy life of four boys and extraordinary opulence — and banished her self-doubt. She in her turn was awestruck and mystified by his acumen and daring during his founding of the Four Seasons Hotels.
Beginning with her childhood in North Toronto, in a very Jewish home surrounded by non-Jews, Rosalie enchants us with anecdotes about her family, Isadore Sharp’s family, and the growth of their own in the light of the expanding Four Seasons chain. How did she go to the Ontario College of Art & Design while simultaneously raising four rambunctious boys? How did Issy open hotel after hotel with only his collateral of confidence and charisma? Rosalie is a rapt follower of his astonishing success and the first fan of his legendary town hall talks to 40,000 employees.
And with success came tragedy. The devastating death of their son Chris shook them, but they coped. Here, all of Rosalie’s life is opened up for viewing, the good and the bad, the success and the failures, but especially her inspired romance with Issy. In the words of their second eldest son, Greg, “Their mutual love and respect growing stronger over the past 69 years is as extraordinary as it is beautiful.”
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.