BOOK REVIEW: ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’ by Jojo Moyes

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Imagine working out at a gym and running late for a meeting. You grab your fake Marc Jacobs bag and dash to your co-worker’s car. You pull out your shoes and they are not yours. Instead of your boxy black pumps, you find red crocodile skin, 5-inch Christian Louboutin heels and a Chanel jacket. Going back to the gym will make you late with the possibility of being fired. Sam Kemp sees no other alternative but to wear the shoes to work with a promise to find the owner tomorrow.

Nisha Cantor, a well-kept second wife, finishes her workout. Grabs her REAL Marc Jacobs handbag and is in horror. Not only is this bag a knockoff, it is filled with someone else’s tacky shoes and a cheap jacket. Nisha is too refined to wear someone else’s shoes. She calls her wealthy husband for help. But he tells her the marriage is over and to figure it out. She goes in the gym’s bathrobe and spa sandals to their 5-star hotel, but the staff and her husband’s bodyguard will not let her in the elevator. She has no money, no clothes, her credit cards are canceled and her “friends” are no longer her friends. Nisha must use her ingenuity to find a way out of this mess.

Meanwhile Sam discovers the shoes are powerful! Her coworkers and clients see her with a different perspective. She makes her largest sale ever. Returning home to her depressed husband, who will not get off the couch even to walk the dog, and her daughter who does not appreciate her. She thinks twice about returning the shoes immediately. Her friend Andrea, who is going through chemotherapy, tries to guide her about what to do about the shoes and her family.

After staying a few nights at a very cheap and trashy (by Nisha’s standards) hotel. Nisha gets a job as a maid at the 5-star hotel where her husband and his secretary are staying. Nisha is befriended by a fellow maid, Jasmine. Jasmine offers to let her stay in her tiny apartment along with Jasmine’s teenage daughter. 

The novel is at times what some readers call “a Scooby Doo adventure.” But it is also a novel of women empowering and lifting up other women. The supporting characters, Jasmine and Andrea, are delightful and prove to be true friends.

Jojo Moyes is an award-winning romance novelist, New York Times bestselling author and screenwriter. She is one of a few authors to win the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice. Her novels have been translated into 46 languages, have hit the number one spot in 12 countries and have sold over 50 million copies worldwide. This is the first book of hers that I have read, but it will not be the last.

Cathy Lay Mayor grew up in Cullman and graduated from Cullman High School in 1976. She says when she writes book reviews, she tries to remember what Mrs. Gilbert taught her in 11th-grade English. She lived in Dothan for more than 30 years and is married with three adult children and six grandchildren. She retired to Panama City, but still calls Alabama home.