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Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin Hardcover – November 1, 2015
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"These episodes and more are vividly narrated in Natali’s memoir of adventure, self-discovery and spiritual fulfillment. Stairway to Paradise is full of other fascinating stories relating to her sister’s struggle with mental illness, recollections of Ira Gershwin, and much more. Natali has lived a life full of privilege and heartache, tragedy and healing, and through it all managed to find herself and her voice." Ventura County Reporter
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Suggest you buy it in hardcover then, after reading, pay it forward to a like-minded inner adventurer yet with a twist, require Nadia Natali's Stairway to Paradise be returned to share with another!"
Donna Tkachuk Blanco
I received a copy of this book and voluntarily decided to review it.
This is a memoir that chronicles eras, class, and most powerfully, a search for spiritual fulfillment. Nadia Natali's story features a cast of troublesome but endearing characters, all described with love and clarity. As I read each chapter I began to see Natali as a spirit guide sharing memories from her early days as a child of luxury, to the later hardships and joys as a wife and mother living off the grid, in a teepee with her husband Enrico and their children. It is a story told with fearless honesty, including the tragic loss of her son and her evolution to dance therapy to help others work through their pain of personal loss. The book is packed with amazing stories told by a woman who understands that no truth is too hard to face, and from this she has emerged transcendent.
Stairway to Paradise tells the remarkable life story of just such a "lucky" person, Nadia Natali, born into wealth and fame, first as a daughter of the man who invented colour photography for Kodak no less, as well as a niece of George and Ira Gershwin, arguably the greatest team of Broadway composers who ever lived, and creators of an almost uncountable list of hit shows and songs that are still widely performed to this day, as well known classics, earning royalties each and every time they are played.
But instead of using her inherited riches to indulge in as many of life's goodies as possible, Natali chooses to set out on a journey to discover a life which would offer a meaning beyond the superficial trappings and privileges of the wealth she grew up with.
Stairway to Paradise is a memoir told in a fast-paced series of tableaux, almost a book of self contained short stories, each one letting us in on a rich and distinct phase in this unique and necessarily unusual life. From growing up surrounded casually by well known people, to moving back to the land and living in a teepee with her husband and children in a remote corner of California, to helping create a Zen centre, to dancing expertly with the Bushmen in Africa, this well written memoir carries us briskly from one surprise to the next. Facing death and harrowing difficulty on many occasions, in the form of wildfires, raging floods and the tragic death of her son, Natali takes us on a voyage which eventually discovers a way behind the surface layers of life, reaching into the depths of our felt physical presence beyond the limitations of words and language. It’s a life worth looking into and one which may just open the reader to life options which most of us are likely barely aware of, let alone have had the courage to explore for ourselves.