The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review | Ruth Hogan

When you spend most of your time reading heavy fantasy books (which I love, don’t get me wrong), it can make a refreshing change going for something a little different. Today’s review is on The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, an emotive yet charming read that leaves you smiling.

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books | Date: 2019 | Genre: General Fiction

Plot: Masha is drowning. Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, her life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds solace in the silent company of the souls of her local Victorian cemetery and at the town’s lido, where she seeks refuge underwater – safe from the noise and the pain. 

But a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl-turned-magician’s wife-turned-seventy-something-roller-disco-fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.

Until the fateful day when the past comes roaring back…

I received The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Book review: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

Content warning: past child death

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review

I was thoroughly charmed when I read The Keeper of Lost Things and was looking forward to reading her second book.

While being a relatively quick read, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes was not what I was expecting. The charm was still there, but I was expecting an uplifting book that leaves you with a goofy grin on your face.

In some ways, you get that. Masha starts to realise what it means to truly be alive, finding the joy in the simple things and pushing herself to start living again. But there was an element of sadness throughout the entire novel: the reason why Masha must learn to live again is because she hasn’t been able to move on from the loss of her child. Her grief is an undercurrent of the entire book and the happy moments have a bittersweet feel to them.

This wasn’t a sad book though. Far from it! It was a story about finding meaning in your life – friendships, romance, those who are there for you in unexpected ways. Discovering new friends, a new outlook on life despite tragedy befalling. There is that element of charm, that feel-good factor. But while you may have a smile on your face, you can easily have tears in your eyes at the same time.

There is an element of mystery scattered throughout the book; something that doesn’t quite add up. I guessed it, then I second guessed myself and wasn’t certain if things were going to play out the way I expected.

But this isn’t a mystery. It’s a character driven story, and while this unknown element adds another layer to the story, it’s the characters you care about.

“When the music ends for someone you love you don’t stop dancing. You dance for them as well.”

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

You want Masha to find her happiness. You feel as she does about her new friends: the eccentric “Sally”, full of wisdom that gives Masha the advice her old friends have never dared voice out-loud. The glamorous Kitty Muriel – a woman who shows Masha that moving on doesn’t mean forgetting the past, but embracing it and looking forward. Edward – Masha’s best friend despite the word friend not doing justice to what they have between them.

Masha is surrounded by people who love her. She knows that – and wants what is best for her friends. There are such heartfelt, selfless moments throughout this entire book that it makes you believe in humanity: not everything has to be people acting selfishly.

It’s the type of book that you know will have a happy ending. It’s not fast-paced, it’s not tense. But it’s emotional and sweeps you up, carrying you along with the characters. You truly connect with these lives and leave the book with a satisfying feeling of everything being where it should be.

Does this sound like your kind of book? What other light-hearted reads would you recommend?

You may also like:

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review
A Rambling Reviewer

Twitter Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram 


15 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review | Ruth Hogan

  1. I really need to stop reading other blogger’s posts. My TBR stack is out of control! This one is being added though. It sounds like it is a great one!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s