Cover Image: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

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Member Reviews

this was beautiful and heartbreaking. it was actually my first ruth hogan book, though i've got others on my list - i just love her covers. the characters in this were quirky and i really enjoyed them. it was a bit of a slow start but eventually captured my heart. emotional read.
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The story starts out slowly and disjointed as it introduces you to the main characters.  The central character, Masha, interacts with the others and gains valuable insight into life from them.  Though a lost child is the focus of Masha's pain and inablility to experience life, it is the motivating spirit and wisdom of the people she encounters that are the important part of the story.
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For a book called The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, there isn't a lot of Sally or her wisdom. 

Masha's son drowned when he was two and Masha has been surviving with this pain for twelve years. Early on she realizes, and many people tell her, that she needed to start living. She starts experiencing the world by meeting new people and doing new things. 

Then a twist happens that I saw coming or else that other POV was completely useless. And the twist revelation happens off screen. Trying not to spoil but I did not believe that this woman could ever be forgiven that easily for what she did.
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I find it hard to write this review properly, since I've just finished book and I'm overwhelmed with emotions, happiness and melancholy at the same time. In the beginning I had a kind of struggle, but story soon started to develop and I stared to enjoy it. And I enjoy it very, very much.

I'm not even sure what I like more - the part of story about life: (unexpected) friendships that make life worth living, hope and second chances, or part about death: grief and sorrow that it brings, but even more - the fear of it, which was very interesting topic to explore for me.

"I’m not afraid of ghosts – I find the living far more alarming. It seems strange that the Victorians, who celebrated death so splendidly, should be afraid of ghosts. I think they were more likely fascinated by the frisson of ghouls and spectres. The physical aspects of death were universally mundane, so perhaps the exploration of its spiritual mysteries injected some welcome excitement into what was otherwise commonplace... Of course, nowadays, people are rather uppity about the Victorians’ approach to death, condemning it as excessive, sentimental and overly dramatic. But I’m not sure our attitude towards it is any better. Our considered approach to death is to try very hard to ignore it. We can’t even say it. We say someone has ‘passed away’. We talk about having ‘lost’ someone, or someone being ‘late’. They are neither lost nor late. We know perfectly well where they are, and they’re not late, they’re just not coming."

I guess that death is taboo in today's society, but in fact it's the only thing we all have in common.

At the end, I must say, story is very well written, language is splendid and Ruth's humor is adorable. Sometimes I even had the feeling that I'm reading my own thoughts! Really nice, indeed!
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The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes........This is a well written novel that will have you dealing with a wide variety of emotions.

This story is about how Masha works to come to terms with a devastating event that occurred 12 years prior.  There is also Alice who is dealing with her own personal health issues and family problems.

The story is well written and the characters are likable.  This was an enjoyable and emotional read.  

Thanks NetGalley, Ruth Hogan and Crooked Kane Books for the ARC.
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This book was so good.  Very heartwarming and smart. Even had a little plot twist! Loved it! 5 out of 5 stars
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After reading the blurb, I thought this would be a fantastic book.  However, I had a very difficult time getting into it.  Initially, there is a lot of stuff thrown at you, and little to tie it all in together.  I was about a third of the way into the book, and really could not figure out who was who and what exactly was going on, so had to refer to the blurb to try to make sense of things. I have never had to do that with any book before this one.  I think it would have been better had the author begun with a short overview of the basic theme/plot and then written the tie-in chapters, tying them into this foundation she provided.  As it was, I felt as if I was reading the most disjointed tale ever.  The basic plot was really good.  The mechanics of getting it out and across, however, needed a lot of work. I also did not get any warm feeling for any of the characters because they really were not well developed. Again, some tie-ins would probably have helped.  I have not read anything else by the author, and think I might, just to see if this is her style. It was interesting that, for me, the best part of the book was the ending. It all sort of came together then, but there really had not been any coming together before that.  The story is a fantastic one, one I think most readers would dearly love and one that would stay with them long after finishing. I do not see that happening now, because, as I said, the author needs to work on developing her theme and/or plot across/throughout the book, and not leaving everything so disjointed. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
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Beautiful heartbreaking story about a woman living with debilitating grief who chooses to live again after she meets an inspiring group of quirky characters. In her second novel Ruth Hogan introduces the reader to some of the most amazing characters ever written. The story is seamless and engrossing. The words are beautifully written and quote worthy. This book broke my heart and mended it all at the same time. I am in love. Thank you #NetGalley for the chance to read this. Publication date June 11, 2019.
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I just couldn’t get into the storyline or connect with the characters in this book. I really wanted to enjoy it as the description and cover really drew me in.  Thank you Netgalley for an ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.  The reviews are so great, and I think I just struggled to enjoy this one.
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I loved this book. It had me hooked with the cover and the synopsis, and the story did not disappoint. Hogan’s writing is wonderful and I found myself liking the book better as the story went on.
This book is about grief. Masha’s son died at a young age and she never got over it. Two wonderful women come into her life, the eccentric Kitty and the elusive Sally Red Shoes and they help to teach her lessons that she needs to move on.
This really is a touching story and my heart grieved for Masha and her loss. I loved her big dog and the walks they took in the graveyard, the dinners she would get dressed up for with her interesting friends, and even how her trauma informed how she looked at the world. She definitely grew as a character and it was wonderful to experience.
Grief is a difficult subject to write on and Hogan did a beautiful job with a book that really touched me and made me think, laugh, and cry.
Thank you to Netgalley and Two Roads for the review copy of this book.
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Thank you NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books!

Masha used to have a great life but a tragic event over a decade ago changed that.  Suddenly she befriends Sally red shoes and that great life starts to come back.

Okay, normally I love books that have quirky characters and no exact story line, but I struggled to feel pulled into this book.  I tried.  I really did.  I wanted something more, but it was so drawn out with so many characters, that it was hard to focus on what was happening.  Looks like others loved it though!
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Masha's life was changed forever by a catastrophe twelve years ago. She just can't let go, but finds comfort in her dog, Haizum.  Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a secret history. She also, speaks the things she wants to say but part of it's due to a malfunction in her brain. Masha feels as if drowning, it may be a peaceful end, so she goes swimming everyday as today could be the day. She haunts the Victorian cemetery as the ones buried there bring her a type of peace. Masha has friends , Kitty and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes. This is a sad story with characters who grow and lessons are learned. No matter who you know and how long you know them, there are still hidden things. Where there are birds, there are angels, is something I won't forget. There are children's deaths and the effects of losing those you love. I cried big, ugly tears, but there are some great parts that don't make you cry but that brings hope. I loved this book and recommend it highly. I received this book from Net Galley and Crooked Lane Books
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I loved this beautifully written novel about loss, hope, love and redemption. The author has blessed us with some very unique characters that interact in a very satisfying way. We could all use a Sally Red Shoes in our lives and benefit from her insightful wisdom.
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This was my first Hogan book. This book tackles some pretty tough themes, but the author tries to interject whimsy to lighten the mood. The writing is solid and enjoyable.
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I enjoyed “The Keeper of Lost Things” very much, and so was looking forward to reading this. It was highly enjoyable and I would happily recommend this. However, I need to admit that I read it at least two months ago, so can’t remember that much about it!! This is what I do recall:

Even though there was a slight sense of trying a bit too hard to have whimsical characters, all of the people delineated were believable and likeable. It gives a moving portrayal of how grief and guilt can stall a person’s life, and how friendship can help to finally bring a person out of the darkness. The themes of death and grieving are well handled, as is the idea of the importance of friendship.

The ending was satisfying. Not what was expected, a bit hard to read, but yes, satisfying.

This was a five star book. That doesn’t happen very often.
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I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I loved the characters of this book. They were resilient despite all the challenges thrown their way and the tragedies that they faced. The characters are really well developed and they were so painfully relatable, regardless of your age. 

It was a thought-provoking and emotionally charged read. You will enjoy this book if you like an insightful read that makes you contemplate life. 

This book will touch your heart and make your mind ponder. It will manage to make you laugh and cry. I'd recommend it if you like reads that are emotionally driven. 

It was really well written with tons of emotions. It makes you feel as if you're on the journey with the characters. People who enjoy emotional reads will enjoy this one. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Ruth Hogan has created a novel of a grieving mother who, after years of just existing, is ready to live again. Also is the story of a single mother who is dealing with cancer. The two storylines intertwine for the conclusion. Interesting and eccentric characters who are part of Masha’s life. Very witty dialogue. Deals with some tough and sad issues but it is woven in with humor. Very well written.
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I received an Advanced Review Copy of The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan from the publisher Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: This is the story of a woman who lost her son twelve years ago and hasn’t been able to move on, she blames herself for the death and has lost the joy of life. This is the story of how she makes two new friends who encourage her to find the joy in life.  At the same time, we occasionally check in on a secondary character, Alice, whose whole life revolves around her son. 

What I Loved: I love some of the characters, they are so cheerful but still realistic. The character of Sally Red Shoes and Kitty Muriel are my favorite, living their best lives despite the fact that they have faced tragedies. The characters are well developed. I also loved watching Masha work to overcome her grief. 

What I didn’t like so much: I was looking for pure up-lit and this book has elements of up-lit but there were portions that were super depressing and their were plot points that didn’t quite add-up and seemed far-fetched.  I also was not a fan of the ending, it was abrupt and we didn’t get any information on the fall-out. 

Who Should Read It: People looking for a story about overcoming grief and seeing the role grief can play in people’s lives. People who are okay with plot-lines that might be a bit far fetched. 

General Summary: A story of the impacts of grief on our lives and how it can truly pause our lives.
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This book was outside of my usual sphere, but an interesting, thought-provoking approach to a dark subject. Telling the tale from various points of view was an interesting approach in this fast-paced story.
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I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this book. I'm usually a reader who loves thrillers and horror...but as I have gotten older I have been broadening my reading horizons. This book is very sad at times and made me tear up a few times. Over all this was a wonderful book that I feel could resonate with many different people and I would recommend it to people who I think would enjoy something like this.
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