Author Roxanne Kurpita Davies, BA 76, is intrigued by the way memories and history define our lives and who we become. While she has co-authored three books helping others tell their personal stories, Kurpita Davies’s latest, The Blue Riviera: A Daughter’s Investigation, is her most personal.
The book chronicles the author’s journey to discover her mother, who died tragically at the age of 32 under mysterious circumstances. Kurpita Davies was only eight at the time.
“Writing The Blue Riviera was an attempt to get to know a woman I didn’t know,” she says. “I now know her very well. This book brings my mother to life and puts her soul to rest.”
‘A life worthy of fiction’
On May 3, 1960, Sally Tomiuk Kurpita was killed in a tragic car accident at a railway crossing.
Her death was shrouded in mystery, posing questions as to whether it may have been murder, or even suicide. Years later, her daughter would find a clue in the last photograph taken of her mother. Tomiuk Kurpita was sitting at her desk at Montreal’s Dorchester Hotel, of which she was part owner, and there was an ashtray with a cigarette pointing away from her. She had not been alone. “This is a mystery I had to solve,” says Kurpita Davies.