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The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  6,737 ratings  ·  950 reviews
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 enc
...more
Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published May 3rd 2018 by Two Roads
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Michele Zito Yes you can get it on kindle. Excellent book by the way, I just finished reading it tonight.
Michele Zito…more
Yes you can get it on kindle. Excellent book by the way, I just finished reading it tonight.
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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  6,737 ratings  ·  950 reviews


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Paromjit
Ruth Hogan's experience of cancer informs this meditation on grief, death and sorrow, infused with her trademark eccentric characters, along with joyous wit and humour. This is a darker story than The Keeper of Lost Things, of women experiencing loss, the death of children, hitting rock bottom but finding a way through to initially survive but eventually to live again. Hogan replicates the structure of her debut novel here, with the main strand in the narrative focusing on Masha, and a secondary ...more
Liz
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Hogan can paint a picture like no other. Her words color the page and create a detailed scene. If I started quoting all the phrases I loved, I’d never be able to stop. Her characters are vibrant. She can have me alternating between crying and laughing in the space of a page.

I adore books like this, that give us life with all quirks. Masha lost her little boy 12 years ago and has just been surviving. During a dinner party (hilarious and sad), she realizes it’s time to move on. It’s not an e
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Miriam Smith
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookbridgr
Just look at that cover! Isn't it beautiful? I always love an attractive cover and this one certainly ticks all the boxes.
"The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes" is an exceptional and mesmerising exploration of the simple human connections that make life worth living, about dark secrets, hope, unexpected friendships and second chances.
This is a very, very sad book at times covering some extremely painful issues but I loved the way the author Ruth Hogan introduced humour that was subtle enough to still k
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a story of grief and loss and the strength it takes to walk through it. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Look at that lovely cover! We need more turquoise covers, right?! Gorgeous!

Masha’s life has been shaped by tragedy. She used to be known for her spunk and independence and for over twelve years now, she’s been grieving and has lost herself in the process.

Her places of comfort are the nearby Victorian cemetery, and the lido, where she swims.

Two special and quirky women enter
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Phrynne
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2019
A very brave book about death and about cancer written by Ruth Hogan when she was herself undergoing treatment for cancer. However do not for one moment think that it is a "difficult" or sad book. The sad is outweighed by the optimistic and the good, and there are many light hearted moments.

This is my second book by this author and she has a very recognisable and descriptive style. Sometimes nothing happens for pages but the content of those pages is pure reading pleasure. Her characters are fun
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Carolyn
"When the music ends for someone you love you don't stop dancing. You dance for them as well."

Ruth Hogan has somehow managed to write a novel about the unspeakable loss of a child and infused it with moments of joy and lightness amongst the more sombre themes of death dying.

Masha is a woman who lost her baby son Gabriel twelve years before and has since struggled to survive, feeling his loss every day. Her loyal wolfhound, Haizum, helps to keep her sane as does her dear friend Edward, who also l
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Helga
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: british
“Life is full of small joys if you know where to look for them.”

Ruth Hogan, what have you done to me? Is it fair to make me cry on a Monday morning? My heart is shattered. My face is wet! You are one of those rare authors who can make me cry and laugh at the same time. I never thought anything you write could outshine the exceptional five star The Keeper of Lost Things. But apparently you can and you did. Bravo!

“When the music ends for someone you love you don’t stop dancing. You dance for them.
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Bkwmlee
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a thoughtful book that both surprised me and humbled me in ways that I wasn’t expecting. Going into this book, I knew that the story revolved around difficult subject matter such as death, loss, and grief, and so I thought that this would be a heavy read, since most authors tend to approach these themes in a manner that focuses more on the dark and tragic. It turns out I was wrong, as Ruth Hogan has a unique style all her own where she is able to take such di ...more
Fran
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dressed in an oversized, worn coat and wearing scuffed red Mary Jane shoes, an old woman visits the cemetery. She is eccentric. She smiles. She "enunciates her expletives beautifully". Soon she will leave the cemetery, bag of bread crumbs in hand, and feed the crows in the park. It appears that the cemetery is a place of comfort. For Masha, "the cemetery is [my] her sanctuary" as well.

Every week, Masha swims in the Charleston Lido Pool. Actually, she goes there to drown...almost. As a self-profe
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Cheri
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

This story begins with an older woman in a graveyard, who “throws open her arms and exhales with a perfect top C,” a note that soars past the headstones through the graveyard, down the hill, who no one else hears except the creatures in the trees or those scampering about gathering acorns. She’s momentarily lost in memories of another day, another year, a moment when she was wearing a fine silk gown almost the same shade as the dilapidated red shoes she wears now, along with her tattere
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Lori
Aug 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, own
I loved this book. Unlike in most of my reviews, I won't provide a lot of detail about the characters or what happens to them. I'm new to Ruth Hogan and very impressed with her talent. Her style is unique. She has a gift for creating three-dimensional people and scenarios with few words. She's so concise the book is a fast read but seems twice as long as it is. Her characters are fully formed without any unnecessary backstory. Many of them are smart and cultured like main character Masha, but no ...more
Bianca
4.5

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes charmed the pants off of me.
Ruth Hogan’s writing is beautifully descriptive, making the settings come to life. She builds the story slowly, allowing us to know the main characters, via their parallel points of view. Masha is a grieving mother, unable to move on with her life, even though it’s been twelve years since her son died. Alice is a single mother to Michael, now a changing teenager. He’s the apple of her eyes.

Masha is fascinated with the Victorian grave
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Jenny
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
George Michael was a member of a successful rock group Wham. When he decided to leave the group, he wrote a song titled Faith which he sang and watched it climb to #1 on the charts. The verse “I gotta have faith, faith, faith” showed that faith can pay off.
Ruth Hogan, author of The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, agrees with George Michael. You gotta have faith! Her novel shows us the meaning of faith and what can be accomplished with faith.
We meet Masha, a woman who has lost her young son in a drown
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Louise Wilson
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Masha was once spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak. Her life has been 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 the towns lido, where she seeks refuge underwater - safe from the noise and the pain.

This is a well written book that deals with death and mourning it does have its lighter moments though. Masha has never got over the death of her son who drowned at
...more
Pauline
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan is a story about loss and mourning.
I found the beginning on the book confusing and slow. There were some good quirky characters but the subject matter was heart breaking. I would like to thank NetGalley and John Murray Press for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
Inevitably readers will want to make comparisons to The Keeper of Lost Things, the first highly acclaimed novel by writer Ruth Hogan. I missed it myself, so I am a newcomer to Ruth Hogan’s writing. The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is an introspective book that serves up a study of grief, sadness and loss, with moments of joy. Despite the melancholy main subject matter, it is utlimately an uplifting tale.

A highly original tale of the friendships we forge in the
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Selena
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a free e-copy of The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan from NetGalley for my honest review.

This is the story of Masha and Alice. Masha lives in a world of never ending grief and guilt after the drowning of her son, Gabriel. From the day Gabriel died, Masha stopped living life and started an endless obsession with death. While trying to heal and being on a road to recovery, Masha meets some wonderful characters, all of whom play a part in helping her to learn to live life again.
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Lou
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is both my first book by Ruth Hogan and first from the "women's fiction" genre in many months. A synopsis has to really grab me for me to be willing to give the genre a chance. It gives me a welcome change from all of the crime, fantasy and scifi that I tend to gravitate towards.

Unfortunately, I struggled to connect to this novel. The story is accomplished and is well-written and plotted, but there was something missing for me. The characters are quirky and interesting, it certainly wasn't
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Esil
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This is my 1000th — yes, one thousand — review on GR! Just saying...

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is mostly about grief. Masha lost her young son over 10 years ago, and she’s coming to realize that her life is dominated by grief — and maybe it’s time to change. In parallel, single mother Alice is not well, and she and her son are slowly descending into disarray. The end was not much of a surprise to me, but that’s besides the point. The book is really about people in difficult situations and the
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Mackey
I have been a fan of Ruth Hogan’s work since I read The Keeper of Lost Things which I loved. The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes was a quite a different story but Hogan’s flair and writing style remained constant. Two very different women come together in this story to create magic in this uplifting tale of wisdom, personal growth and grief. It touches on homelessness among women, the loss of a child, and the commonality that all women have with one another regardless of our social conditions. The cha ...more
Lisa
Aug 24, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unable-to-finish
Most of my GR friends loved this book and maybe if I had more patience I would end up enjoying it. But I’m at page 160 and I’m bored out of my mind. Definitely not charmed. I’m giving up.
Marianne
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is the second novel by British author, Ruth Hogan. Masha knows she’s probably seen as a bit eccentric: she and her wolfhound, Haizum are frequent visitors to the cemetery, where she talks to the dead; she tries to use her word-of-the-day in conversation (spoken or thought); her dress and grooming aren’t always up to scratch; but probably the weirdest thing is swimming to the deep end of the Lido Swimming Pool and sitting underwater holding her breath.

None of that q
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paulinereidbookreviewer
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Book Review - The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan. Women's Fiction.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for gifting me the ARC.
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This book has two main characters, Masha and Alice.
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Mashas likes to swim and also likes taking walks through the cemetery. Masha in this book is actually dealing with grief of the death of her son, 14 years ago, fed up with living in the past she tries very hard to turn over a new leaf. Her wolfhound called Haizum keeps her company. At the swimming p
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Holly
May 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a story of transformation as well as atonement. Masha lost her young son 12 years ago and has never fully recovered. Grief has paralyzed her and she holds on to it as a way to assuage the guilt she feels for Gabriel losing his life. While Masha is alive and fully functional, she is merely going through the motions of living. She takes her dog Hazium for walks in the cemetery where she converses with the dead. Masha aspires to be a cemetery guide and she makes up ...more
Catalina
May 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Rather conflicted about this one.
One the one hand I truly loved the main plot: I've liked the quirkiness of the characters, the dialogues, the sarcasm, the grief was so real and believable, the writing style was just perfect and the Britishness of it all was exquisite. On the other had I've kind of hated the subplot. I believe the book would have stood up on itself just fine without it, even if arguably has given some depth to the story.
BUT, and this is a huge BUT: I absolutely HATED the resol
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SueLucie
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I am so sorry not to feel able to rate this higher. I was very taken with Ruth Hogan’s first novel and had high hopes of enjoying this one equally, but it didn’t quite hit the spot for me. In her afterword, she says she worried she had ‘already used my best plot, most engaging characters and cleverest phrases’ and I fear there is a grain of truth in that. The whimsy and quirkiness of the first novel that I enjoyed so much - its characters, their interaction and dialogue - were lacking for me in ...more
Sarah Connor
I wanted to love this book more than I did. It has so much going for it - an intriguing plot, a great character list, the whole swimming thing...

However, it was just too short. None of the characters got chance to grow. I was expected to care about somebody on the basis of a funny name and a couple of paragraphs. There were almost too many events, too quickly, and not enough connection in between them, and I think it tried to do too much. it could have been three times as long, and really explor
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Kylie H
Feb 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Having read some great reviews about this book I was a little worried it may not live up to expectations, but it really did!
This book is hard to sum up, it is sad, funny, vibrant and beautiful. The writing itself is …. well it is like a beautiful silk shirt, there is a luxury and depth to it that defies explanation but it just feels right and wonderful!
Ruth Hogan has developed the most wonderful, eclectic characters in this book that whirl like colourful butterflies around this very macabre topi
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Ruthy lavin
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think I’m one person in the minority here who read this second novel by Ruth Hogan before the first - although ‘The keeper of lost things’ has been on my TBR list for ages and ages.
I have very high expectations for it now that I’ve read this - what a fantastic book.
I loved, loved, loved it!!
Great combination of humour and loss, written so unbelievably well - it was one of those rarity’s that I couldn’t wait to snuggle up with. I actually pined for the next chapter when I reluctantly had to t
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Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)
Aug 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, rounded up
This is a sweet book, I have come to like and appreciate Hogan's writing, she fills it with so much life and love and the reader can't help but root for the characters to triumph over their adversities.
In this book, there's one story thread that's a bit too convenient and I saw where it was going from a mile away. Not that it still wasn't touching, I just wanted a bit more of a twist rather than something predictable.
I loved Masha, everything about her is endearing and made
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I was born in the house where my parents still live in Bedford: my sister was so pleased to have a sibling that she threw a thrupenny bit at me. As a child I read everything I could lay my hands on: The Moomintrolls, A Hundred Million Francs, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the back of cereal packets and gravestones. I was mad about dogs and horses, but didn't like daddy-long-legs or sugar i ...more

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