Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

This was a great book to listen to as I gardened and did the housework. Enough to keep me interested and wanting to know what happened next but not too challenging so that I ended up wishing I had bought the book. It is a comedy in the Shakesperian sense where things get mixed-up, partners or shoes, but is really about love, deceit and being fickle with people at the end being changed.

Sam takes the wrong bag when leaving the gym in a rush on her way to a meeting and when she looks inside instead of finding her own shoes she finds a beautiful pair of Louboutin shoes and a Chanel jacket. She has to wear them – she has nothing else – and manages to get the deals she was after all because she felt so empowered in these clothes.

The opposite side of this is a wife, Nisha, of a very wealthy man who opens her bag to find a pair of clumpy heels and a primark jacket and then discovers that her husband has separated from her without her even knowing it. She is left with nothing; no money, house or job and her child is in America whilst she is stuck in the UK. It sounds a bit like the film Trading Places at this point with wealth and lack of money changing places..

The two stories continue along parallel lines for a while but eventually converge because these red shoes turn out to be very important. This is a story about female friendship but also of women hitting a certain age and becoming invisible, not just to their husbands but also to society in general and not allowing this to happen. In the family background for each woman is a story of depression, for Sam it is her husband and for Nisha it is her son. The effect this can have on women who are working to keep things together is skilfully told and is the quiet engine of the story.

It’s a comedy so there is a happy ending for both women and their families. It was a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

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