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A Pearl in the Storm was chosen as one of 25 "Books You Can't Put Down" in the Summer Reading issue of O Magazine.

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Fan Letters to Tori

Tori - I heard you on NPR.

That afternoon I stopped at my local library and asked if they would get your book.

It was there within 2 days.

I first shared it with someone I work with. When I got it back it was during a rainy stretch of weather and since I mow lawns I was "beached" for a bit. I finished it within 24 hours and have passed it on to some other friends and am recommending it to everyone I know.

I don't do "fan clubs" and never contact authors about their books - but I admire you and what you have accomplished - not just the row - and wanted to share that you effort to reach out and share your adventures is paying off.

Dom Bergen, Tamworth, New Hampshire

Hi Tori,

Brian Russell here – I’m a third semester student in Spalding’s MFA and we met briefly a couple of weeks ago during residency. I wanted to drop a quick note telling you how much I enjoyed your book. Your story is compelling and your writing is terrific – lean, charming, graceful, detailed, and powerful. In fact, I’m going to be using your book as a primary source for my ECE, which is about how yearning propels action in memoir. You’ll be keeping company with Joan Didion and Frank Conroy, among others!

I also wanted to ask you if anyone has yet approached you with the idea of adapting your book into a one-woman play. I think it might be VERY effective in that form, and it’s something that I would very much like to discuss with you if you are open to the idea. I won’t bore you with an extensive description of my theater background now, because you might not be interested in the idea at all, but if you are, I will then happily share with you some of the reasons I think I might be just the guy to adapt your memoir for the stage.

Meanwhile, and more importantly, thank you for writing this beautiful book. I read it last week and can’t wait to read it again. (I’m also telling all of my friends about it, so I hope your amazon rankings continue to go up up up!)

Best wishes,

Brian Russell

Dear Tori

I just finished your book and am in awe of the synchronicity of being on the Jordan Rich show with you. There have been almost 300 downloads from my website of our interview. Had I not been on the show with you, I might not have ever read your book. I laughed with you, and I cried with you. I did not want the book to end. I have found myself in this space of continued growth after my Boston Marathon run which initially took me by surprise. You articulated this process so well in your book. I had imagined that after I ran the Marathon, I would do the talk show circuit, talk about post polio syndrome, continue to run and do personal bests in road races...God has other plans which are in truth more magnificent than what I had imagined. I had that sense of invincibility after running the Marathon until my body reminded me that I live with the symptoms of post polio syndrome every day and that it is truly in my human-ness and vulnerability and frailty that the grace comes into my life. I was seeking validation from the outside in and once I had my aha moment that I am a champion whether or not I run another road race - that I am a champion because of the way that I greeted the challenge of post polio syndrome and so many challenges in my life and that in truth I did not have to run the Boston Marathon to become a champion. I am now able to continue the transformation and healing of my life, finding love and joy in simply being fully alive. Ironically enough, once I told myself that it didn't matter if I were on any of the talk shows that my purpose is to touch people's lives who I meet through my journey, my gift of poetry and just by my Be-ing - through the love and kindness and good works I do that nothing else really mattered - I am now getting calls from the media about my journey. My life's purpose continues to unfold and I am open to this amazing journey. Life is truly about the journey not the destination and the growth and expansion and transformation transcends our 'finish lines'.

Thank you so much Tori for the gift of your book and for sharing your time on the Jordan Rich show with Team McManus. It is a gift in my life and when you come to Boston you must promise me that I will have the opportunity to meet you and Mac. I would also be available to talk with Rotary Clubs about my journey with polio and post polio syndrome. For now, I donate 20% of the proceeds of the sale of my book of inspirational poetry to Spaulding Rehab's International Rehab Center for Polio. It would be an honor if I could send you an autographed copy of my book - to share one part of my journey with you through my gift of poetry. It is not the kind of poetry of scholarly journals - it is poetry from the heart and soul of one woman's journey with polio and post polio syndrome and being reawakened to life at the age of 53.

God bless you Tori and wishing you every happiness and joy that life has to offer. Please let me know where I can send you a copy of my book.

With warmest regards,

Mary McManus