The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

12 years ago, Masha lost her son. Grief still weighs her down and she finds herself going to the local lido to punish herself… by forcing herself to feel what it would be like to be drowning. She wants to know what Gabriel would have felt. She’s been stuck in this rut for a very long time.

It’s time to move on.

With the help of some new friends, her old loyal friend; Edward, and her family ‘on the Other Side’, Masha begins to let go of the past and embrace her future.

Meanwhile we’re introduced to Alice who is riddled with guilt and hiding two secrets – one very new and one very old. But will she confess?

As Masha goes from strength to strength, Alice continues to weaken. What was fascinating was the balance Hogan had created in this story, giving the perfect mixture of emotions.

I personally preferred this novel to Hogan’s first – The Keeper of Lost Things – I found the storyline more captivating and I was definitely more engrossed in this tale, as I polished it off in two days!

This story is very character driven. The uniqueness of each character brings a range of personalities, and the quirkiness of these brings a lightness to the plot, which given some of the deep topics that are explored throughout the book, is definitely needed. Hogan has really managed to dissect the isolation associated with death: be it the grief associated after someone has passed or the regret and pain when a death is imminent, I felt the words on these pages were incredibly moving.

Heartfelt and radiating warmth, it’s difficult to not be drawn into this book. I’ll admit I had guessed the link between Masha and Alice’s story very early on, but in a way I enjoyed the build up of the story more. I was able to put the characters to the ultimate test and see if they would show the goodness in their heart, that I believed they had.

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is now available in paperback and eBook by Two Roads.

Have you read this book? Who was your favourite character? Let me know in the comments or over on twitter (@reviewsbychloe)

*I received a free copy of this book and chose to reflect my honest thoughts on it, here on my blog*

Until next time, Chloé x

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