In Her Shoes: A Book Review

Jennifer Weiner has a gift. Her gift is character development. She knows how to dig inside a character’s mind and make her real, pitiable, laughable, and enjoyable to read.

Rose, the responsible one and her sister, Maggie, the reckless one think they only have a shoe size in common, but find that despite the facade, they have one more similarity: their collapsing lives. Rose with her six-figure salary and Maggie with her Aphrodite physique, find themselves needing one another, but ironically learn from being apart.

Finally, a book that doesn’t latch on to the consistent theme of intimacy—though doesn’t ignore it either. Yes, the book ends with a wedding, but it wasn’t about finding the perfect guy or dealing with the wrong one. What started over a guy ended with self-worth.

Everyone has their secrets, their character flaws, but they also have value. This book was about a usual dose of self loathing treated with self discovery taken down an unusual path.  When do you see a serious lawyer switching her Jimmy Choo’s for roller blades and an intoxicated party girl living in a college library? Weiner takes readers through the low points of these two women and makes women ask the question, “Is this what I want?” Sometimes in life people feel that they have it all—the wardrobe, the job, and the man, but find out what they always wanted was not what they wanted at all.

Below are a few excerpts from the novel that I absolutely fell in love with—the true honesty that reality inhibits, that can only be found in a Chelsea Handler novel.

“Here was the truth—she wasn’t the kind of person Jim could fall in love with. She wasn’t what she’d made herself out to be–a cheerful, uncomplicated girl, a normal girl with a happy, orderly life, a girl who wore pretty shoes and had nothing more pressing on her mind if ER was a rerun this week. The truth was in the exercise tape she didn’t have time to unwrap, let alone exercise to; the truth was her hairy legs and ugly underwear. Most of all, the truth was her sister, her gorgeous, messed-up, fantastically unhappy and astonishingly irresponsible sister.” p.13

“A homeless guy eyed her (Rose) appreciatively. ‘You looking good, baby!’ he yelled. Well, that was encouraging, Rose thought. ‘You heavy-set, but you still looking good!'”

“‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by senior moments, dyspeptic, forgetful, polyester’d dragging themselves toward the handicapped-parking spaces at four, looking for an early bird special.”

I hope that this novel makes you laugh and appreciate your journey through life. The Washington Post said it was “Irresistible…”

When I went to a Literacy Conference in Chicago, I got to choose one free book from a myriad of novels. Though I never got through the movie, this book intrigued me and kept me missing my stops on the “L” and making those moments patted up next to strangers in a train, bearable.

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