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

Like her bestselling debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan's second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who guide us through a moving exploration of the simple human connections that make life worth living.

Title: The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes
Author: Ruth Hogan
Published: May 3rd 2018 by Hodder and Stoughton

Blurb: 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...

Review: last year I read and thoroughly enjoyed Ruth Hogan's debut The Keeper of Lost Things, so I was really curious to see what the author had in store for us this time. The first thing I noticed is that The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a darker and more serious story, but equally beautiful. The main character Masha lost someone very important more than ten years ago and is still struggling with her grief, unable to see the good in life and just barely surviving. 

Thanks to two quite unexpected new friendships though, her life is about to change. I really enjoyed how this story developed and how Masha's character evolved. It was a treat to follow her and her friends around and to get to know them and their secrets. The author balanced very sad and serious scenes with some light humor and kind scenes, which made the story very appealing and always interesting.

I really enjoy Ruth Hogan's gentle style and her complex and intriguing characters. Once again, she has created a beautiful and inspiring tale that celebrates friendship and love that I am pretty sure will touch many hearts, it definitely touched mine. 

It's both sad and hear-warming at the same time and it has a couple of unexpected revelations that took me quite by surprise. All in all, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a very well-crafted story with multiple voices that will capture the reader.

Rating: 4.5 stars

I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book. This is my honest opinion.

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