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Tuesday, March 21, 2023



The bond of sisterhood is unbreakable and the more challenges life throws at one, the stronger the fight back becomes. (Review by Fiona de Goede)

This is the story of two women from entirely different backgrounds. By a stroke of sheer coincidence, their paths not only cross, but become inextricably intertwined.

Sam, the quintessential woman of our time, who has to keep several balls up in the air, is challenged in every aspect of her life. She has a husband who is severely depressed and has lost his job, a sassy teenage daughter and a boss that does not let any opportunity go by without belittling her, criticizing her and generally making her life hell. Sam is good at her job, but is holding on by the skin of her teeth and something has got to give…

Nisha is married to a powerful, wealthy wheeler-dealer businessman. She wears designer clothes and lives an international jet-setting lifestyle. Not a very nice person, she treats the people who make her life comfortable like dirt and her sense of entitlement is astounding.

Fate of course intervenes - these two wildly differing women end up at the same gym, Sam with her knock-off designer gym bag and Nisha with the real deal Marc Jacobs item.

Inevitably, they end up with each other’s bag. Sam ends up with a Chanel jacket and a pair of killer Christian Louboutin red crocodile-skin slingback shoes. Nisha draws the short straw – in her rip-off gym bag there is a pair of tired, ugly, block-heeled black pumps.

The story then unfolds at a brisk pace and I enjoyed how the author portrayed each woman’s life and circumstances. Sam has to pitch an idea for an important client and wears the red shoes -   these shoes empower her to such an extent that her self-confidence is sky high.

Nisha, on the other hand, clad in the shabby pumps, has one disaster after the other. Her life starts to fall apart and she sets out to try and save what she can.

Nisha has to start relying on others, something she has thus far avoided in her life. She has to learn to be vulnerable and let her guard down, concepts that are totally alien to her. Sam tries to keep the fraying edges of her life together and starts depending on a male work colleague – she then has to do deep introspection and ask herself whether her marriage is worth saving.

This is far more than just a whimsical tale of shoes and gym bags. What comes to the fore is the solidarity and support that women have for one another. The bond of sisterhood is unbreakable and the more challenges life throws at one, the stronger the fight back becomes.

Jojo Moyes has penned 15 previous novels; each one an individual and unique offering. Someone Else’s Shoes is no different. Her bestselling novel, Me Before You, was made into a film in  2016 starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke. Fans of Jojo Moyes will adore this latest offering and, I’m inclined to hazard a guess, garner her some new fans as well.

Someone Else’s Shoes is published by Penguin Random House: ISBN 978-0-241-41554-2