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The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

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4.15  ·  Rating details ·  2,695 ratings  ·  380 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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4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,695 ratings  ·  380 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
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
...more
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.
...more
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
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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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.
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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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
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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Lucy Banks
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A prime example of how heart-wrenching, upsetting subject matters can still be uplifting and lovely.

Gosh. I finished this last night and sat for about twenty minutes, processing what I'd just read. It was remarkably well done, and all the more so for being so accessible and fun.

There are two principle characters in this book - Masha, a woman in grieving for her two year old son, and trying to learn how to live her life again, and A
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Tracy Fenton
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You know those books that you literally speed read eager to find out what happens next, turning the pages super fast devouring the words?  Well this is NOT one of those books.  In fact this is completely the opposite.  I found I was actually pacing myself and savouring the words, deliberating putting the book down several times just to think about these incredible characters and to appreciate the story-line.

This is Ruth Hogan's second book (I loved The Keeper of Lost Things - read my review here
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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
...more
Anne
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So here we are again; that much anticipated second novel from an author who totally delighted me with her first book. Whilst I was very excited to receive my copy of Sally Red Shoes, I had that feeling of fear too. Would Ruth Hogan be able to match The Keeper of Lost Things? Would I be as enthralled or would it be a disappointment?

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes is a very different story compared to the author's first novel. It's a little darker, with themes that are distressing at times. However,
...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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Jessika
What a lovely introduction to Ruth Hogan's writing! I love a good book that makes you really feel something, and with this one, there were so many quotes and passages that alternately felt like a punch in the gut or that took my breath away that I feel as though I highlighted nearly half the book!

The Keeper of Lost Things has been on my TBR for quite some time, so when I saw that this was available on NetGalley, I requested it right away. I was a little worried that this would be a very heavy r
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Heather
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
⭐⭐⭐⭐💫 Review to come... ...more
Lisa
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I loved this family drama - it made me laugh and it made me cry - in equal measures!
I won't go into the plot as a. Other people have done it much better than I could and b. No spoilers here.
If you love character driven novels and are interested in people coping with life more than big plot driven stories then this is a book you will enjoy.
I recommend this as an audio book.
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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Sally Boocock
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Totally loved this book. A story about love and loss, drowning, cemeteries and hope. For anyone who loved Eleanor Oliphant, Harold Fry or any books in that genre.
Lydia Bailey
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Ruth Hogans writing! We’re currently away on a family break in Brighton so I’ve been reading during the early hours as I couldn’t put this down. It wasn’t as easy a read as Keeper of Lost Things & it is one you definitely need to concentrate on to keep abreast of her meaning. Definitely not one to skim read or you’ll miss the whole point. It took me until precisely page 64 to ‘get into it’ ....Some will say the subject matter is macabre but it has so many layers of humour & humani ...more
Alice
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adored ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ so was very excited to read this second novel by Ruth Hogan. I enjoyed this one almost as much. Much like ‘Lost Things’, it was well written with characters you really cared about. However, ‘Sally Red Shoes’ deals with a much more serious subject matter - death and mourning - and this made it a slightly harder read. Sally’s piece of wisdom that runs through the book is very profound though and touched me deeply. All in all, I enjoyed this book and would defin ...more
Mikayla
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my God I can't even deal with this. It was so good and so sad and I just don't even have words at the moment.... 😭
Karen Whittard
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was exactly what I needed right now. What perfect timing to read this beautifully emotional read.
Suzisue13
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I struggled with this initially but cant be sure why. So many times I considered giving up but boy am I glad I didnt. Its a book you need to concentrate on to understand the nuances. One that will stay with me for a long time
Sheri
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Hogan writes beautifully about how a mother copes with her grief. After years of self-inflicted condemnation, Masha begins to see the impact her grief has on her family and friends. She begins a slow awakening, seeing people through a new lens. A well told story with an unexpected ending.
Mandy Radley
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
😊😊😊😊😊that's how I feel on finishing the latest book by Ruth Hogan. Absolutely gorgeous, and the cover is lovely too.
Erin-Elizabeth
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
Life has a habit of throwing you a curve ball every once in a while, and there’s nothing you can do about that, but you can always choose how you deal with it. You can lie down and roll over, or you can stand up and fight. But you don’t need do it on your own: there are people who can help. All you need is the wisdom and courage to let them.

5 stars to Ruth Hogan’s second novel, ‘The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes’.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This quotation from the author’s note at the end of the book summarises the mess
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Thebooktrail
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel is really sad! I understand the author has had some experience of serious illness and cancer but that’s what made it really hard to read for me. It does have much of the trademark humour and observation that The Keeper of Lost Things had, but is so much darker overall.

The two story structure was nice - with Masha as the main focus and then the story of Alice and her son Mattie.All characters have their obsessions and problems and they feel hurt in different ways. Masha for example los
...more
Helen Costello
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book in the end but I didn’t love it as much as The Keeper Of Lost Things. I admit I struggled to start with this book. The hopping back and forth between time and characters was confusing as the main characters seemed so similar. I suspect these similarities were intentional from reading the rest of the book.
I do like Ruth Hogan’s writing style. She has a great habit of popping an absolute corker of dry wit in a passage when least expected. I would describe her writing as ‘full’
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Donna Hines
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The power of love, death, reflections, friendships, and ultimately our ability to see a celebration in light of tragedy.
Life is meant to be lived!
Plain and simple with all its complexities, intricacies, and turmoil both good and bad. It's meant to be shared. It's meant to be challenging making us move beyond our boundaries to a whole new realm of possibilities.
I love everything about this novel and I love Ruth Hogan!
She has never disappointed readers and this newest work is no exception to her m
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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
“When the music ends for someone you love you don't stop dancing. You dance for them as well.” 4 likes
“Life is full of small joys if you know where to look for them,” 1 likes
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