The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

I found this to be another enjoyable novel from Ruth Hogan. I’m not sure if all the elements of the plot really came together at the end of everything. I still did find this to be a charming and diverting way to spend a snowy day at home. Even if I felt this novel could’ve used a bit more polish, I will still look for more books to come from Ruth Hogan.
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This is a charming novel that leaves you feeling brim full of that happy sadness when something has jerked at your heart, but in a good way.
It deals with grief and loss, and doesn't shy away from the trauma and mourning process, yet has wonderful flashes of light, in the chance meetings of Sally Red Shoes and the protagonist. 
My only criticism was that I didn't want (as I suspected) a half baked mystery thrown in at the end - the foreshadowing was there in the book, and I was hoping I was wrong, because it is not needed, and the resolution of this mystery, to my mind, cheapens the emotions of the rest of the book. 
Still, a recommended afternoon and cup of tea novel.
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“When the music ends for someone you love you don't stop dancing. You dance for them as well.” 

This book is essentially about death and learning to live with it. It is also an eye opener that makes you want to stare at it right in the face and say 'Seriously?'.

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes (long title) is about two women. Masha, a grieving mother who has lost her child and Alice, the overprotective mother of her son Mattie. Told through the dual POV of these two ladies (with Mattie sometimes chiming in with his thoughts) the book is a delightful and compelling book. 

“We are so much more comfortable saying ‘fuck’ than ‘dead’. We are happy to let children spend hours merrily slaughtering, maiming and motherfucking in front of their computer screens, and yet balk at them attending the funeral of a dearly loved grandparent in case it upsets them. I think we are teaching them to be afraid of the wrong things.”

Masha is a character you'll end up falling in love with. Her grief is omnipresent in the book, even after so many years. Her ramblings, albeit sometimes too long, are a pleasure to read, filled with little tidbits of facts, word of days, and social commentary. My favorite has to be her little stories about the graves she visits in the cemetery.
Alice, by the time you finish the book becomes a character you feel sorry for. (view spoiler) The other hidden gems in the book - Kitty Muriel, Edward, Masha's mother and not to mention Sally - make the book worth a read. 

I'm not afraid of death, I find the living far more alarming 

What I didn't like was the ending. Although it is a fairly understandable epilogue, I left the book feeling cheated of what could have been something grand.
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I really loved The Keeper of Lost Things, so I was delighted to check out Ruth Hogan's second novel. The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes introduces quirky, but loveable characters. It's a mediation on friendship and grief.
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This was an absolutely delightful book! Hated to have it end. I really want to read more books by this very talented author. I don't think I've laughed so hard over a book in a very long time. You will laugh and you will cry.
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Hogan has yet again crafted an enchanting story of love and loss filled with a cast of quirky and developed characters. This book will make you laugh, cry, and feel joyful for the tenacity of the human spirit.
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First I want to say thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for this eARC! I was drawn fo this book because of the description. I think grief is a topic that isnt talked about enough and I truly believe that Ruth Hogan painted such a beautiful picture of it. I did enjoy this book, but I will say I had a lot of moments where I had to stop mainly because I lost focus. Parts of it became a bit boring. With that being said I give The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes 3 out of 5 stars.
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I am an avid reader of books of all kinds. I have to say, though, that this book was right down my alley for a good, comfortable read. From the beginning, you can tell there is a bit of a mystery, as the author introduces two women who seem unconnected. And you know that the book will take its time fleshing out the details of this apparent disconnect. Along the way, the reader meets some lovely characters, some of whom made me laugh out loud, others who made me cheer, and yet others whom you weren't supposed to like but you could still see the humanity in them. This book was very easy to read (but not simplistic) and the writing was very descriptive. I would recommend it to anyone looking for some clever writing and a warm read. When it was over, I felt sad, as if I had to say goodbye to some people who had become my friends.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC.

https://www.amazon.com/review/R3LNB6EWHURJMZ/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv
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I would like to thank NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for ARC in exchange for an honest review. The story is accomplished, well-written about dealing and mourning with death and the subject matter was heartbreaking. Besides, the characters are quirky and interesting and they had to experience the grief, sadness, and loss that I sympathize with them. I loved reading this heartfelt book and devoured every emotive word.  I think most people would find this emotionally compelling like me and if you love it,  it's a book that you want to read again in the future.
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Ruth Hogan paints a vivid picture of the complexities of grief.  Her skill in drawing the reader into complex relationships of her characters is remarkable.
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Masha has spent the last 12 years of her life in mourning with only her dog Hazium and her time swimming at the local pool for comfort. All that changes when bag lady Sally Red Shoes enters her life. Sally doesn’t know how to hold back, she has no reason to, and she lets Masha know just how she feels about the other woman’s life, or lack of one. Can Masha put her past behind her and learn to live again? This is a beautiful story about finding wisdom and love in the most unexpected places
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I really liked the sound of this one as grief is something we can all relate to, however as much as I tried To like the book, I found the start just deeply depressing so I abandoned ship. It’s possible that if you read on further you will discover this book is a gem. But alas life is too short.

Thank you to netgalley and Crooked Lane Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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