The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes | By Ruth Hogan
I received an e-ARC of The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.
(Courtesy : Goodreads)
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 opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again.
Narrative and plot
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, is a story that shows the painful journey of how to let go of your grief. The narrative shifts between Masha - the protagonist, Alice and Mattie, though most of the book is about Masha and her grief. There are certain places where the narrative was slow and a little bit repetitive. Sometimes it makes you wonder if the things that are being mentioned are relevant at all or not. But the second half of the book wraps most of the loose ends nicely. Masha's narrative is fun and deeply intense at the same time.
This is more of a character-driven story rather than being a plot-driven story. The ending is a bit predictable but the point is, it's not about the "Happy Endings" - pun intended- it is about the journey of life and how you can make the best of what you have.
Characters and Conflict
The book has some colourful and eccentric characters. Yet, it feels like you can actually find some of them in real life. But, the book focused mostly on Masha. Well, she herself was a person with different layers and a sense of humour. It is easy to root for her and feel for her. However, there were other characters out there, of whom we only get a glimpse, towards the latter end of the book. You wish it had less imaginary stories about dead people and focused more on those amazing characters like Kitty Muriel and Sally herself.
The major conflict of the story was about letting go of your grief after a loss and finding your reason to live again. The dead should be mourned none the less but it is certainly not the end of life for the living. That is basically the essence of the book and it is depicted in a beautiful manner . However, there is a major plot of the book that remains unexplored.
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a great read if you're someone who has experienced the pain of loss at least once in life. It may not be everyone's cup of tea.
For all the things it explored and ventured into, it is exceptional. There is wit, humour, despair, pain, hope and happiness all in one story. You wish there was more to this. Perhaps it has a sequel, because the story still feels unfinished. Maybe the story intends to leave the rest to your imagination. However, a part of you wants to know more and lose yourself in the lives of these people. And that is definitely because it is a good read.