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The Shoe Queen

3.26  ·  Rating Details ·  499 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
In The Shoe Queen, author Anna Davis immerses readers in the glitter and excitement of 1920's Paris -- where one woman's obsession with shoes leads her into a steamy affair that will make her question what matters most in life.
ebook, 416 pages
Published June 19th 2007 by Pocket Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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Jan 28, 2008 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in 3 days and enjoyed this chick-lit. It would be a great beach book, sitting in your beach chair, soaking up the rays and watching the waves come in.

I love Paris, especially Montmarte, so it brought me back to that wonderful city, eating pain de chocolat while sipping a cafe outdoors.

What did I learn from this book? Don't party and dance the nights away when you have a great husband waiting for you back home! And definitely, don't keep secrets from each other! Oh, and a room
Nov 03, 2007 Deana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm not quite sure why I kept reading this. The only things I can say in my defense was that I enjoyed the fact that the book was set in Paris and that I got it for free. I finished it but I've even been too embarrassed to bring it into the free book exchange just in case someone tracks it back to me.
Oct 14, 2007 Lexie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining story about a spoiled, rich woman who derives meaning in life through her obsession with shoes and men. Majorly redeeming factor - the book is set in 1920s Paris and the author does an amazing job describing the era and culture. My bags are packed...I'm ready to go!
Feb 24, 2015 M rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had surgery last year - this book was more painful. It's well written, but feels very confused. I didn't get a sense of the themes, or of what the characters wanted - what were their hopes? What was their motivation? They just seemed to bounce along according to the whims of the author. It was all over the place - one minute Sex and the City with shoe envy and 'scandal', the next it veered into Mills & Boon - but bad M&B, the kind that makes you think, "Hang on - does that flowery desc ...more
Jul 08, 2014 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
A woman obsessed with shoes, set in Paris in the 1920s. Sounds like a perfect book for me. Sadly, it was not. I don't know if I expected more references to all the famous people living in Paris during that time, or if I just thought that things should be more exciting. Or maybe there just should have been more shoe conversation. Either way, it was just alright. Bummer. And the characters were not terribly sympathetic either.
Mar 24, 2009 Stina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This book was dumb... not about shoes or queens OR about the steamy affair that the book jacket promised. Now I'm not always super keen on "quivering love pockets" and "rock hard swords" but if I'm going to read a freaking book that pretends to be about one woman who will stop at nothing to get her hands on the best shoes in the world, then there better be a little something exotic/erotic in there, or I'm just stuck reading a stupid story about a stupid lady and some stupid shoes. Seriously.
Linette Akuffo
I think the story could have been told in half the time. It was alright, not inspiring or absorbing, quite an interesting glance at Parisian life in the 20's. The story didn't ever really develop, it kinda just trundled along taking you to an abrupt and unfulfilling conclusion. The descriptions of the shoes throughout was quirky but you soon became bored with them - was disappointed after reading the blurb thought it would far more entertaining.
Oct 28, 2007 Suzi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As I was reading this book I wondered several times, "Why am I still reading this?" The story was not very engrossing and, despite one revelation about Genevieve, the main character was very shallow and uninteresting.
Sep 23, 2016 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An intriguing novel set in 1920s Paris, The Shoe Queen chronicles a fairly tortured and tumultuous period in the life of an English woman of noble birth, Genevieve Shelby King.

A self confessed shoe-a-holic, her collection has 523 pairs in it, all lovingly stored in their original boxes and kept in a dedicated shoe room in the Parisian apartment she shares with her wealthy Boston-born industrialist husband, Robert. Many have been hand-made, and even more have never been worn.

Those that are worn a
The Shoe Queen is a beautifully written book set in 1920's Paris. The author is a master of word craft. Oddly enough, what I liked most about the book was the structure. I don't usually even notice structure, but it was so well done (mixing the present/past/pov's) that I often couldn't wait to find out where/who/when I would be next. (The chapter that ended with Robert opening the hotel room door and the chapter that started with what he found was absolutely and completely brilliant. I laughed o ...more
Jan 27, 2009 Tara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2009
This book is much different from the style I usually read and I rather liked it. The title and the beautiful cover drew my attention to the book (even though you aren't supposed to judge a book that way!) and I love all things Parisian, so I figured I'd give it a try. I wish I knew more about Bohemian Paris because I think this story would have made more sense if I understood the context.

This book is heavy. The language is no joke and the subject matter has many twist and turns. Just when you th
Miss Jane
Jan 22, 2009 Miss Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-50
I picked this up at the library because, hey, Paris, 1920s, designer shoes. How could I resist?

Unfortunately, the heroine was a completely unlikeable spoiled little whiner. Wow, I just read this last night and I can't even remember the heroine's name... Genevieve. I had to look it up. Anyway, the author attempted to gain sympathy for Genevieve by giving her a tragic incident in her past, but I felt like I was being manipulated to see this woman as a victim when really she was the one who was unp
Linda Humberstone
This was an o.k read for me. Not exciting and I did get fed up with all the descriptions about shoes, although I realise it was necessary for the reader to understand the characters of the women in the book, their fetish with shoes and their materialistic competitive manipulation of each other. I felt it could have been written quicker but its redeeming feature was it was a good portrayal of the Parisienne night life and the rich young things of that era, who had nothing to worry about except wh ...more
May 24, 2012 Rhoda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up as it had an absolutely stunning cover (which is not here on Goodreads unfortunately!). It also claimed to be a book about the 1920's, Paris and shoes. What's not to like?? Well, the main character Genevieve for one! What a pain in the backside princess!

This story was just ok...nothing outstanding about it. What totally ruined it was the main character. There are plenty of books where you may not like the characters, but the book is excellent anyway. Not so this book. Gene
Nov 08, 2007 Jeanne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love shoes, and so does the main character of this novel. Surprise, surprise.

Genevieve Shelby King is obsessed with shoes. Her luxurious Parisian apartment has its own shoe room. When she spots an acquaintance wearing the most exquisite pair of shoes, she decides that she, too, must have shoes from that shoemaker. Enter Paolo Zachari, the creator of "the world's most expensive shoes."

A special pair of shoes is made for Genevieve, but that is not enough. She must have the shoemaker as well. Thu
Jul 04, 2007 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Set at the height of the Boho lifestyle in 1920's Paris, it is a semi-tragic tale of a woman with a secret past and her passion for shoes, and the one pair she could not have. Richly detailed, vividly drawn characters and landscapes, it is a literary quick read that draws upon the times and spirit of the '20s.

Almost perfect book, except that some of the sub-plots seemed a bit haphazard and very loosely connected to the story. The beginning seems to have been poorly edited and the writing is sta

I first got the book because the tittle and book looked interesting to me , and i will say it was a great book and i could easily read it, but i have read books which are better than this.
Sometimes i was reading it and thinking what is this about but when i re-read it i know it again but maybe that's just me.The book was o.k , i feel like i didn't connect with the book when it was about robert or genevieve i just can't imagine them in my head , how they look like. But i did like that not the wh
Audrey Driscoll
The best thing about this book was the detailed and sensuous descriptions of shoes and clothes, as well as the setting -- 1920s Paris. But I found the main character, Genevieve, unsympathetic; maybe her life of luxury blinded me to her troubles. I salute Anna Davis for agile prose and great descriptions; she also did a pretty good job making Genevieve's husband a more complex character than is usually found in their kind of fictional situation. Unfortunately,that made Genevieve herself seem less ...more
Elisha (lishie)
Nov 27, 2007 Elisha (lishie) rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fashion lovers/historical fiction '20s Paris
This was a fun read set in 1920s Paris. The book's great just for fun of the themed parties and the descriptions of Paris, the fashion and, of course, the shoes... all that combined with literary characters of the time making slight appearances (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway, ee cumming, Gertrude Stein...) I read 100 pages without realizing it, but unfortunately, I have to say, the plot was just ok. I enjoyed the back story of the main character Genevieve "Vivi" the most and it was worth it to ...more
Mar 13, 2008 Dessertmania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book, i guess explain to me about the reason why shoe(s) always plural for women. And knowing how amazing what a shoe can do to you (read: your life) - at least by reading, feel and imagine the character of this obesessed Shelby King for her own shoe collections ...lots of intriques, affair and in searching life values. Paris 1920 - is making this story even better. You will find a "not so typical" - the "not happy ending" part, the "not cliche" part - at the end of this book. Love this one ...more
Apr 25, 2015 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Picked up because of the cover - 1920's Paris, flapper clothing and fans - lovely! The shoe thing was secondary for me - I'm not a woman obsessed with shoes at all. The storyline sounded amusing but it really wasn't, in fact the people within the pages were more sad and lost than anything, leading lives that weren't as fulfilling as they pretended they were.

Not a great book by any means but I enjoyed it.

Feb 05, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: chick lit, historical fiction, Any one who understands the beauty of shoes.
A good read. Great character and plot development. A well researched book that feels very real - the way life really happens - no happy endings nor life shattering tragic endings. It's about the love versus duty. It is not - as the title implies some shopping crazed woman - Genevieve has great character depth.

For a more comprehensive review -
Feb 28, 2008 Patty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's nothing like your average meet-mr-right chick lit. It's a story of a woman battling with indecent obsessions and self destructive tendencies. Set in Paris circa 1920, the book is like a party full of the world's quirkiest people. The main characters are so dark they're bordering on realistic. Even the ending is realistic. What I learned from this book? That you don't always have to change for the better if you don't want to. A lighthearted read with a deep impact indeed.
Aug 13, 2007 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Julia
Shelves: fiction
I absolutely loved this book! Set in my favorite era (1920s) in absolutely artistic time (1920s Paris), I could not pass this book up. The novels fowllows, Genevieve, a wannabe poet and newlywed, whose search for the perfect pair of shoes brings her all sorts of wonderful trouble and romance. This is what I call a page-turner!
This book was romantic and very well-written. Lots of details about shoes and society and although set in a different time period, the emotions and problems are accessible and I found myself wrapped up in the world of the main character. Surprise ending, maybe not such a surprise, but somewhat disappointing.
May 06, 2008 Alisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Read!! The setting of 1920s Paris was enough to grab my attention. The story completely unfolds around one woman and her obsession with shoes. While it sounds uber materialistic, it is crazy to read how it ends up affecting every piece of her life... Love, loss, fashion, the 20s, it has everything!
Sep 15, 2012 Sana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fellow readers, do yourselves a massive favor and do not read this book. It was an utter waste of time, with no plot or story line whatsoever. The ending of the story was just pathetic! I thought that the author left so many questions unanswered. I'd give it a star just for the sake of grading it.
Dawn Stanton
1920s Paris...parties and affairs....I loved this book but found it to be like a bad sexual experience...exciting in the beginning...lots of foreplay leading you to read more to find out what happens get ready for the climax, and.....nothing. instead of feeling satisfied you're left disappointed and wanting more.
Oct 13, 2008 Tulsi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite liked this, historical chick lit! It takes us into the dark world of Paris in the 1800s, and the women who are obsessed with shoes and a certain shoe maker. Vivid descriptions, at times racy, and at times a little slow. Is probably a good read for the beach, don't take it too seriously, but one of the better chick lits out there, simply because of a change of setting.
Jan 29, 2008 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. If you know me you will know why as soon as you read the description. The book takes place in the 1920's in Paris. A young Englishwoman with a shoe obsession meets an Italian shoemaker whose shoes she must have. But don't worry. It's not all a shoe frenzy. There is plenty of love and lust and lots of gay Paris.
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Anna Davis is the author of five novels: The Jewel Box, The Shoe Queen, Cheet, Melting and The Dinner, as well as short stories and journalism. She lives in London with her husband and two children. Anna is a former Guardian columnist and works part-time for a leading literary agency.

Anna's new novel The Jewel Box, about a 1920s London gossip columnist, is out now in the US and Canada, and will be
More about Anna Davis...

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