Ruth Hogan, the international bestselling author behind the The Keeper of Lost Things returns with an irresistible novel of unexpected friendships, second chances—and dark secrets…
They say friends make life worth living…
Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, Masha’s life was forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds comfort in her faithful canine companion Haizum, and peace in the quiet lanes of her town’s swimming pool. Almost without her realizing it, her life has shuddered to a halt.
It’s only when Masha begins an unlikely friendship with the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice and a penchant for saying just what she means, that a new world of possibilities opens up: new friendships, new opportunities, and even a chance for new love. For the first time in years, Masha has the chance to start living again.
But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, her past comes roaring back…
Like her beloved debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, Ruth Hogan’s second novel introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who lead us through a moving exploration of the simple human connections that unite us all.
March 15, 2019
5 of 5 stars
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes Review
A special thank you to NetGalley, and Crooked Lane Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
I loved this book so much I immediately wanted to read it over again! This story was written to perfection from the opening line to the amazing ending. The language is beautiful, yet I found myself skipping over some of the poems and impressive vocabulary to race through the story! Another reason to read it again!
“Life is full of small joys if you know where to look for them.”
What I particularly loved about this book is there was intrigue and mystery from the very start. There was no dump of back-story to weigh it down, yet each concise chapter leaked another clue. It was very much like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. And I LOVE jigsaw puzzles.
The introduction of the main characters in the opening chapters set the stage pretty quickly around graveyards, swimming pools, and the subject of drowning. Masha appears to be obsessed with them all. Masha spends a great deal of time wandering the graveyard with or without her dog Haizum, having conversations with the occupants of the various grave sites. She considers them ‘my Family on the Other Side.’
As the stories unfold for “Sally”, Masha, Alice, and Mattie, (in order of introduction) the theme of death, grief, and dark secrets begins to evolve.
“When the music ends for someone you love you don’t stop dancing. You dance for them as well.”
It was right around Chapter 50, I was lying in bed, my mind turning over the chapters I’d read the night before, when I had the AH HA moment!! So much for sleeping in!
At that point, I was excited to finish it, to see if I am right, and at the same time afraid I am! For the next couple of chapters, I convinced myself I was mistaken, but then another clue. Reading it on my Kindle, I was beginning to hyperventilate at the 95% mark. HOW was she going to finish this in so few pages? The ending was PERFECT!!!!! I couldn’t believe the beautiful way Ruth completed the story.
I laughed, I cried, I wondered, and I loved. All of the things a great read should do for you!