Cover Image: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

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Member Reviews

What a delightful story! I enjoyed every minute of it and could not put it down.

While the reason for Masha's grief is sorrowful, I never once felt overwhelmed by it, if anything her journey was uplifting.The eccentric and eclectic mix of characters drew me in completely, from Sally herself to Epiphany, Elvis and even the lovable dog Hazium. 

The story alternates between Masha's story and Alice's which intersect at the end. The descriptions are beautiful, the narrative flows and the humour is unexpected - I laughed out loud during the Mikado scene. I do wish authors who attempt first person stories were all able to pull it off like this.

The one and only issue I had was that I found the cemetery scenes slightly excessive, there could have perhaps been less or shorter scenes but overall it did not detract from this enchanting story.

Many thanks to #Netgalley and #CrookedLaneBooks for the advance copy of #TheWisdomofSallyRedShoes in exchange for my honest review.
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What a wonderful life affirming book.  I really loved it!  The way the characters were portrayed they felt so real and there were some real characters, such as Kitty Muriel and Elvis.  The dog, Haizum with his wonderful doggy personality was a delight.
The story is about a woman whose toddler, Gabriel, was lost in the river when she fell and became unconscious  and how she had grieved for so many years but was slowly turning a corner and getting on with her life.   I loved the way Masha, the main character, lived her life, making up stories about all the people buried in the graveyard and trying to live her life by the principles of Lady T.  Masha is a strong character and stands by her beliefs so when Sally Red Shoes is attacked she confronts the attackers.  She appears to be loved by everyone who knows her and this is apparent by the way she makes a number of new friends in the story.
There is a parallel story about a single parent who has terminal cancer.  It was not until I was about two thirds through the book that I made the connection between the two stories and what a connection!  The book leaves the reader feeling a number of emotions as there is great sadness, but also great humour in the story.
I had started to read The Keeper of Lost Things when it came out but didn’t really get on with it so abandoned it part way through the book.  I shall now revisit it as Ruth Hogan is obviously an author of great talent and I want to read more from her.
Thank you Ruth Hogan for writing such a wonderful book.  I didn’t want it to end.  Also thanks to Net Galley for allowing me to read and review The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes.
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So moving! If you’re sensitive to stories of loss, put this book aside until you’re at a point in your grief or caregiving/healing when you can fully immerse into this story. It has some beautiful points of clarity and the author is a master of characterization. 
So much to think about and discuss here! Book clubs will be thrilled with this one!

A beautiful work, and kudos to the publisher for this gorgeous cover. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy.
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I received a copy of this book through Net Galley.
Found the book easy to read,liked the way it devoted a chapter to  Alice and Massie,although it soon became clear early on in the book that Alice had taken Gabriel .
Still made a pleasant and relaxing read,personaly would have liked a more detailed ending and not just a letter,git the impression that there should have been more.
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This book is so different from her first book. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting and it was pretty sad and depressing for most of the book. I did like the last half of the book better and really wanted a few more chapters. An interesting story
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

A story about love, loss, friendship, and all of the small things that make life worth living. I loved the twists and turns of the relationships, and actually was surprised by the twists and turns toward the end. A couple of weeks later, I'm still thinking about this. And that is a good sign of a story well told. And as the mother of two young babes, I really struggled reading the inner thoughts and feelings of Masha.
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This was my first reading of a novel by Ruth Hogan and I was very impressed by her beautiful writing skill. She tells this heartbreaking story in a masterful way, that reminded me of the writing of other popular authors such as Marian Keyes and Cathy Kelly. The story is told from the two viewpoints of mothers, Alice and Masha. I really enjoyed the story line and I was left surprised by the ending, I honestly didn't see it coming. I look forward to reading more novels from Ruth Hogan in the future.

Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for this ARC.
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The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan is a rumination on the endless grief that follows the loss of a child.  I was drawn in by the gorgeous cover, and was delighted to find that the entire novel is a thing of beauty.

Masha is grieving twelve years after the loss of her toddler son.  Visits to the local swimming pool act as a means of simulating her son's last moments before succumbing to a watery grave  Her encounters with the title character, Sally Red Shoes, an eccentric bag lady who pulls no punches, slowly convince Masha that she owes it to both herself and her lost son to pull herself out of the depths of depression and grief to continue dancing, and to set her angels free.

This is an emotionally charged novel about grief, loss, regret, love and, ultimately, hope.  I was caught completely unaware by the surprising twist at the end which I found to be both heartbreaking and yet, somehow, redemptive.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC.
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I found this book slow to start but by the end I was hooked. Masha,the main character, has been drowning ever since the death of her son. But as time goes by, she learns to move on, thanks to the friendship of a group of eclectic people she meets along the way.  I look forward to reading more of a Ruth Hogan’s novels.
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Having recently read and enjoyed the author's debut novel, I was delighted to see that her second was available for early review via NetGalley. The luscious language and imagery, as well as the three dimensional characters and worlds they inhabited drew me into this novel from the first page. I felt equally drawn to the two alternating storylines, wondering how they would connect right up until the end. This second novel was every bit as wonderful, magical, and engaging as the debut, and I look forward to continuing to read works by this author in the future.

Most of the story is told in the first person by Masha, who is still trying to come to terms with a tragic event that occurred 12 years prior. Her palpable grief is still as raw as it was when the event occurred. The reader can see that Masha is sleepwalking through life while those who care about her are unable to help her move forward; their pain over her sadness is equally moving and tangible. However, a chance encounter with an eccentric bag lady whom she calls Sally Red Shoes changes the trajectory of Masha's life. The two strike up an unlikely friendship, and Masha begins to reexamine her life and relationships in a profound, transformative way. This storyline is infused with a wide range of emotions that immersed me fully into Masha's world. I enjoyed spending time with her and her friends, and felt transported into each scene. 

The rest of the story is told in the third person, centering around a single mother named Alice whose own burdens are slowly revealed to the reader. The third person narration felt like an effective method for experiencing Alice's story and its progression over the course of the novel, providing a bit of distance and perspective. The emotional connection I felt to Alice was just as strong as the one I felt with Masha.  

While this novel deals with heavy themes, I felt that they were handled with a great deal of care and humanity. I felt that this gave the novel emotional depth and allowed me to fully connect to the stories. The writing was beautiful and gave a magical feel to the story. The power of connections are at the heart of this novel, and will undoubtedly cause readers to reflect on their own lives and relationships long after reading the final page. 

Thank you to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the opportunity read an early copy of this novel; I can't wait until it is released over the summer, so I can discuss it with my reader friends!
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The Wisdom of Sally Red shoes is a simple, yet touching story of grief, human relationships, fear and worry. 

Marsha is coming to terms with a devastating loss that has held her captive for many years. Unable to move on, she has a dog and a routine but is wrecked with guilt and heartbreak which prevents her from living her life. In meeting the intriguing woman who is ‘Sally Red Shoes’ she determines that it is time to move on and start living.

Alice is a single parent keeping a secret from her teenaged son, Matty. She’s carrying a heavy burden alone and struggling body mentally and physically. 

The tale of these two women unravels in an a highly melancholic, yet entertaining way before their lives finally collide. Hogan has a wonderful way with words and can make you laugh one minute and ache with pain the next. Whilst the story is fairly slow paced, the characters are extremely well drawn out and fantastically engaging and the ending packs quite a punch.
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This book left me with so many emotions! Loved it from start to finish and it easily sets an example that there is still joy in the world even after tragedy!
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This book is tragic. I can’t even say that I really enjoyed it because one of the characters wants to die for the entire book. It’s so sad to read about. It does get better when she meets Sally Red Shoes, but I am personally not a fan of reading about death. Thanks netgalley!
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When I first began reading this book, I worried that a novel whose main character was grieving the loss of a child would be too difficult for me to read, but in her charming way, author Ruth Hogan created a beautiful, uplifting piece of writing that made me both laugh and cry.

Although The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes focuses largely on Masha, a bereaved mother attempting to make her way out of the deep waters of grief surrounding the long-ago loss of her toddler, Gabriel, a supporting cast of friends both new and old - including the profane and charismatic older woman Masha nicknames "Sally Red Shoes" for her bright red Mary Janes - supplies some comedic relief and helps Masha re-discover the joy of living.

In a parallel plot line, Alice - a mother of a 13-year-old boy - is battling illness, the previous loss of children, and the desire to be overprotective of her teenager.

I really enjoyed this book. I was able to read it quickly, and although I had a feeling where the story was going and how Masha and Alice's plot lines might intertwine, I was still moved by its conclusion. I only wish the ending hadn't wrapped up so quickly - I could have done with the book being 30-50 pages longer.

I highly recommend this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for access to this charming, quirky and poignant story.
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*Thank you to the publisher for an  ARC of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

I enjoyed this quiet story of a woman who has lost her child and, as a result, her love for life. She is merely existing until she learns to let go and take the advice of Sally to dance for the fact that her child once had life. Full of eccentric characters that will bring a smile to your face, this one is worth the read. I'm looking forward to reading the author's previous two novels.
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I admit to being lost and confused, but happily so. This is a story of drowning, physically, attempted, emotionally. This is a story of salvation. This is a wonderful book which I loved and hated to turn the last page and that page was a killer. The writing is gorgeous, poetic, descriptive “...the daylight is dwindling into a crepuscular shadow world and the park resembles an Arthur Rackham illustration with tall black trees stretching their spindle limbs across a purple bruised sky.” 

Masha (not her real name but one she has adopted) observes a woman “bundled up in a patched tweed coat... a red woolly hat with a Pom-Pom and red Mary Jane shoes with brown socks.” This is Masha’s Sally Red Shoes (also not her real name but one that identifies her) with a gracious demeanor and a tangled verbal dictionary. They follow and intersect each other through the book but there is another couple who shadow the story. And this is where I kept floundering but never mind. 

Ruth Hogan has created the most wonderful, clever and interesting characters, including an energetic, ill-behaved dog, Hazium, named after the Archangel Gabriel’s horse. Hogan teaches us that grief is not linear but something that can unstitch us through a smell, sight or sound. She believes that “When the music ends for someone you love you don’t stop dancing. You dance for them as well.”

The ability to blend such enigmatic and colorful characters while creating an atmosphere and dynamic that moves the story along while you devour the prose is genius writing.

Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane for a copy
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Quirky characters, a Victorian cemetery and a lido. Sounds like a joke but it was  a pretty enjoyable book about the journey of a woman in the wake of a health issue. I think it would be a great book club book.
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Masha is grieving in the way a young woman should never have to grieve, and her friends and family are grieving with her and for her. Then one night, she has an epiphany. She wants to live—not just to breathe and exist, but to really be alive! But, how do you do that with a broken heart? She will need the help of 2 very special women to step out of the cocoon in which she has been encased for so long.  

Ruth Hogan has created a masterpiece. My favorite thing about this book is Masha. She thinks thoughts that we all think and the author is brave enough to allow us to peek into Masha’s mind. She is the kind of person you want as a friend. "The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes" bowled me over and changed me in some beautiful way. I can’t stop thinking about the lovely characters I met in this quintessentially British book. 

The plot enraptured me from the start. It’s something we must all deal with at some time—grief, and moving on. “I am trying so hard to change; to let go of the grief that hobbles me. And sometimes I can. But grief is not a linear thing. It reboots unexpectedly at a certain smell or sight or sound, and some days I still feel as though my world is like a patchwork quilt that’s coming unstitched.” –Masha

I always comment on any potentially offensive content. There are several instances of swearing, but they weren’t really offensive to me. Sally Red Shoes regularly greets passersby with a cheery “F--- Off!” She doesn’t intend to, but her mind is muddled and that’s what comes out. There is no explicit sex.

This book caused me to laugh out loud, many times, and also caused me to cry. There are 2 different stories told from 2 different points-of-view. Until you become clear on who the characters are and how they fit together, this can be confusing. It didn’t take me long, though, to figure out who’s who. 

I recommend The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, especially to anyone who loves honest stories of pain, love, and growth. It is available for presale until it is released June 11, 2019. I give The wisdom of Sally Red Shoes 5 well-deserved stars

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.”
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Ruth Hogan writes beautifully about how a mother copes with her grief.  After years of self-inflicted condemnation, Masha becomes aware of the impact her grief has on her family and friends.  She begins a slow awakening, seeing people through a new lens. A well told story with an unexpected ending.
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The power of love, death, reflections, friendships, and ultimately our ability to see a celebration in light of tragedy.
Life is meant to be lived!
Plain and simple with all its complexities, intricacies, and turmoil both good and bad. It's meant to be shared. It's meant to be challenging making us move beyond our boundaries to a whole new realm of possibilities.
I love everything about this novel and I love Ruth Hogan!
She has never disappointed readers and this newest work is no exception to her magnificent writing.
The colorful plot thickens with characters that hold their own and make you walk the line with them on their journeys.
Even the companion who is fluffy and adorable has a story to tell .
The bag lady is a connector to the cemetery ghosts and the stories that they tell will leave you breathless.
The individual stories are delicate and beautiful; heartbreaking and awe inspiring; madness and calm all at the same time.
We do know that Masha (nickname) has been dealing with a terrible tragedy at the loss of her beloved son Gabriel.
What is magical is how Ruth gives readers bits and pieces woven throughout the novel that forces you to keep reading and moving along.
As those pieces are developed and dropped it's the visual that's coming together that moves the readers to another place.
There was no funeral for Gabriel and perhaps for good reason.
Perhaps in dying we learn our life had meaning and learn that life is more than just living.
The story behind Alice who is facing her biggest health battle yet along with her marriage to Michael at such a young age adds that extra bit of wisdom and madness.
The twister with Alice is pure magic!
What more can I say this is a must read for 2019!
Thank you to Ruth, her publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
PS> Make sure you read Author's Notes at the end as they are equally powerful. Hugs to Ruth!
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