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A dying man's decision to move from Idaho to Alabama becomes a quixotic spiritual journey in Brewer's ruminative, idiosyncratic first novel, based on a true story. In 1925, widowed Henry Stuart learns that he has tuberculosis and will probably be dead within a year. Stuart's initial reaction is optimistic resignation, as he regards his illness as a final philosophical journey of reconciliation, one that sends him back through the writings of his beloved Tolstoy and other literary and spiritual figures to find solace and comfort. Despite the protests of his two sons and his best friend, he decides to move to the progressive town of Fairhope, Ala. There, he begins to build a round, domed cottage where he seeks to "learn in solitude how to save myself" and earns himself the sobriquet "the poet of Tolstoy Park." The plot, such as it is, runs out of steam when Brewer makes an ill-advised decision to jump forward in time in the last chapters, but the heady blend of literary and philosophical references and some fine character writing make this a noteworthy debut.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
First-novelist Brewer chronicles the real-life journey of Henry Stuart, who, in 1925 at the age of 67, is diagnosed with consumption and told he only has a year to live. Henry decides to leave his home in Idaho and bid his two grown sons and best friend good-bye before his decline begins. Henry chooses a small plot of land in Fairhope, Alabama, as his final residence, and he corresponds with a man named Peter Stedman in order to get the supplies to build a house. On the train to Alabama, Henry gives his shoes away to a porter and determines to live out the rest of his days in solitude. But life might have other plans for him: on the final leg of his journey he meets a friendly schoolteacher named Kate, and Peter also seeks to develop a rapport with Henry. Henry tries to shut them all out until one life-altering night gives him a new perspective. Fans of quiet, philosophical novels will find much to enjoy in Henry's musings and revelations. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An outstanding story that is so well-written. Henry Stuart became my best friend! Have made the trip to his house in Fairhope...read it and you'll be a better person at the end!Published 2 days ago by William R. Nation, Jr.
I received a recommendation for this book from a friend. The title was intriguing and I noted the number of 4 and 5 star reviews on the Amazon site. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Writer
Good read . We visit Fair Hope often.
Great place to visit and shop and book made it even better
I really enjoyed the language, style, historical references, poetry and his philosophy on death along with his work ethic. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Faye Green
One of my top ten books. Terrific ode to simplicity. Love the story....even made the trip to see the house, which is still standing, though it's in the middle of a parking lot.Published 9 months ago by spp
Beautiful novel, a true story of a very special man. With terminal cancer diagnosis, Henry Stuart sells his home, buys (sight unseen) a piece of land in Alabama and sets out to... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Procraster
This book found its way near the top of my list of favorites It is one of those beautifully written treasures that captures the language of the day exquisitely and the strength of... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Richard Parker