The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 28 May 2019

Member Reviews

Twelve years ago Masha lost her toddler son, Gabriel. That loss has changed her forever. She is living in a state of grief. Her friends now are the ones who lie forever in her local cemetery where she visits every day and if she isn't there, she is practicing drowning in the local pool.

Sally is the local odd ball. She dresses odd and feed crows and sings at the cemetery. She may sound daft, but she is a very wise woman who had a much different life at one time. Most of the women in this story have lived lives of joy and deep sorrow. The question is how does one live with such pain?

In the next town over a woman is dying of cancer. Her 15-year-old son Mattie is her primary concern. A long time ago Alice did something horrible and now she must make it right before she dies and leaves her son alone.

This was a real slow starter for me. Rambling and I was frustrated when I got to the end and thought, "Really?". 

NetGalley/June 11th 2019 by Crooked Lane Books
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I really enjoyed this book. It’s a haunting tale of two mothers with lots of sadness. Pulls at your heartstrings.
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Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books for allowing me to read an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I loved this book! It's an inspiring story whether you have gone through a season of loss or not. The characters are vibrant and unique, adding depth and soul to the story. Thank you Ms. Hogan for writing such a beautiful story!
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Haunting tale of two mothers’ stories, filled with grief and sadness, separated by time and place, leaving the reader to wonder if or how they are connected in any way. Along the way, a cast of delightful characters lighten the narratives, bringing us to the perfect ending.
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I am in the minority I know, but I just didn’t LOVE this book. I did think the plot was well thought out and mostly well written. I also enjoyed the plot twist. Howevrr, The ending felt rushed compared to the rest of the book.
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I can’t believe I’m reading about death and cemeteries so soon after my own father’s passing. Or maybe all literature is like that, always obsessed about life and death. 

I wish I could have rated this higher, however there are too many parts that were a bit boring and long-winded in an almost confusing way. I guess the crazy writing is part of the charm, but sometimes it works for me and sometimes it doesn’t. 

There were a lot of unfavorable comments to other people’s taste in fashion (and general personality) that I know are meant to be funny, but a lot of it felt unnecessary and even insulting. There was also a lot of extra trivia that seemed all over the place so I was distracted from the plot several times. 

Masha is one of the most judgmental and cynical characters ever. I am glad to see her journey from a person drowning in grief to someone full of love and hope. I was also really hooked to the mystery of Sally and of Alice & Mattie. I was underwhelmed with the former, and satisfied that my guess turned out to be correct for the latter, but the execution was far from satisfying. I feel that I didn’t get to learn enough of the truly interesting characters, and got more of the rather minor ones. I just wish it was the other way around. 

That being said, I still loved the book for its meditation on grief and death. It is definitely one of the most honest books out there. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of moving on after the loss of a family member. ‪My favorite takeaway is this: believe that one day, the joy of being alive would be brighter than the despair of a loved one’s death. ‬

‪I promise I will believe. ‬
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She's trying to drown.  So she can know how it feels.  She visits the cemetery and converses with the occupants.  While grieving the loss of her son.  There she meets Sally and learns to dance.  What a marvelous story.
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Although much of this book is about grieving, mourning and loss, it did not seem a ‘sad’ book. It was as much about finding and accepting support from others as it was about losing yourself in the darkness of grief. A beautifully written book about giving and accepting a second chance.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is a story of loss and how it changes us it is also a story of laughter and love. The writing is exquisite and many of the passages I highlighted because of their depth and feeling. I highly recommend this book. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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I thought I might quit reading...characters were confusing....but I fell in love with characters and their lives! Although I figured out the mystery earl surely did not ruin anything for me.....the ending was just perfect!
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Thanks to #netgalley for a free copy in return for an honest review. Ruth Hogan's books have been on my radar for a while now and this book didn't disappoint. It was heartwarming with such endearing and interesting characters and even a plot twist that I did not see coming  #ruthhogan #thewisdomofsallyredshoes #tea_sipping_bookworm #litsy #goodreads #netgalley #bookstagram
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“When the music ends for someone you love, you don’t stop dancing.  You dance for them as well.”

I will admit, it took several chapters to get into Ruth Hogan’s new novel, but it was so worth the effort.  This book shares the loves and losses of several women and the different ways they handled their losses and learned to love again.  Each of their lives became intertwined, and their strength came from each other.  Although I figured out the twist long before it was revealed, I am so in love with Ruth Hogan’s writing and her characters that it truly didn’t matter.  Beautiful story of overcoming loss to live and love again.

Thank you to Net Galley for an advance copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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I received this book free of charge from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

If I could split this book into two parts, I would. The first half was really slow and I had a hard time getting into it and figuring out where, if anywhere, it was going.  The second part of the book was entertaining and I enjoyed it. 

It follows the lives of two women. Masha who 14+ years prior had lost her son in a tragic accident. She never recovered from the grief and would wander around the local cemetery taking comfort in the solitude and visiting other graves and making stories up about them. She meets a flamboyant bag lady, she calls Sally, at the cemetery who loves to sing. 

Alice is an overprotective mother of a teenage son. She is battling cancer. She has a secret that she is afraid that God won't absolve her of when she dies. 

Masha hits rock bottom and finds out that she can go on living without her son and slowly starts living her life again. 

Near the end of the book there is a twist that I had figured out pretty early on.
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Not often will I intentionally put a book down for the pure reason that the book is so good I don't want to finish it. 

To be honest with you, I could have finished this book in one sitting. But I wanted the book in my life longer. 

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is one of the most well-written books I have ever read. I found myself rereading paragraphs to appreciate the beauty of Ruth's words a second time. While the story itself is sad (the death of a young boy and dealing with the diagnosis of cancer) the words that Ruth has chosen make even death sound beautiful. "I hope that heaven exists. Because when the person that you love the most is already dead, it is the one place where you might be reunited, and if heaven is just wishful thinking or an urban myth, the hope of finding them again is gone forever." 

Thank you NetGalley for providing me an ARC of this book in return for my honest review. I can honestly say that when this book hits the shelves I will be purchasing a hard copy to read over and over again.
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This is one of those book that makes you laugh out and moves you at the same time.
I loved it and I couldn't read fast enough but I was sad when it ended.
Everything is well written and likable: the plot, the characters, and the setting.
I look forward to reading other books by this author.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to Crooked Lane Books and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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After reading The Keeper of Lost Things last year, I was eager to read this next book from Ruth Hogan. I think because my expectations were so high, I found this one to be more challenging to enjoy, especially since the narrative involved the ramifications of a death of a child, which I have also experienced. We will buy a copy, for sure, but it wasn't what I was expecting (I downloaded it based on the author's prior novel, and did not read the plot summary beforehand.). Thanks for the opportunity to preview this one.
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This book was a pleasure read. The language flowed so delightfully, I often re-read passages to hear the sound and rhythm of the words themselves. The themes of love and loss were heartbreaking at times. How does a mother live after losing a son? How does she fill her days? Does her heart resume beating? Is there a way to survive after her reason for living is gone? The characters are crafted with care, each one unique with their own problems and joys. This is a book that deserves to be read.

I received an Advanced Readers Copy from Crooked Lane Books through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
#TheWisdomofSallyRedShoes #NetGalley
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This is author Ruth Hogan's second novel.  I was quite moved by it and plan to read her debut, The Keeper of Lost Things.  She has a talent for describing characters who are fully human, quirky and both struggling and trying their best.

The novel is about two women and those they know, love and/or have lost.  Masha is a mother whose child disappeared a number of years ago and, although not found, was presumed to be dead.  Masha has grieved for him and has struggled to progress in her life.  The reader observes as she moves forward bit by bit, fortified by new and old relationships.  Part of Masha's story takes place at the lido, a favorite locale for me after reading Libby Page's novel.  As in that novel, swimming yields some peace.

Then there is Alice.  She is a mother who is overprotective and very attached to her son.  Her backstory is told with compassion and the reader comes to understand her struggles and decisions.

Sally, herself, is a elderly woman whose past history becomes known late in the novel. She is eccentric and a source of some of Masha's healing.  She reminds Masha of the importance of continuing to dance, both literally and metaphorically.  Other characters include Kitty who has overcome her own tragedy.

While characters in this book have experienced loss, the story is not depressing.  Ruth Hogan writes empathically and I was sorry when the novel ended.  There is a twist that you might see coming but, even if you know, you can enjoy reading about it.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this e-galley.  Ruth Hogan is an author to watch!
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I was drawn to this book because of the title and the cover and the description, however I had a really hard time getting through it. I enjoyed the quirky characters but I had a hard time sorting out who was who, especially at the beginning when the storyline alternated between Masha and Alice. Also Sally Red Shoes made very little appearance for the first third of the book and that was disappointing.  

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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This was an interesting read. I normally don't like books that go back and forth between stories however this one was well done and kept my interest once I got a little further into it. 
The portrayal of how grief can take over and get the better of people was handled with respect and compassion.
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