From the author of the sob-inducing Me Before You and the sweet romance The Last Letter from Your Lover, comes another great story of hardships, strength and starting afresh. Jojo Moyes has never ceased to grip her readers and introduce them to something new. Someone Else’s Shoes is not, however, your typical Moyes’ romance, and yet it brings you to the point where you put the book down and start to re-evaluate your priorities in life.
Generally, the title here is a rhetorical term where you put yourself in someone’s situation and think from their point of view. But in this novel, Sam Kemp is actually wearing someone else’s shoes, leading someone else’s life, and even getting too much attention because of it.
Meet Nisha Cantor, a sad and unhappy wife of an extremely wealthy man who doesn’t know how life works outside a luxurious lifestyle and designer wears. On her way back from the spa, her gym bag gets exchanged with an unknown woman. Too shocked to analyze the gravity of the situation, Nisha is still clueless about what life and her husband had planned for her. According to her, it’s just the expensive Louboutin she had lost. Little does she know that these shoes have almost cost her life and the liberty to live freely.
Here comes our other protagonist, Sam Kemp—an ordinary woman, a mother, a wife—living almost the bleakest point of her life, her marriage almost failing. The only ray of light on her darkest day is the pair of red crocodile heels that she finds in her locker, which changes her life.
Moyes has gracefully shown the life of two middle-aged women—totally different from each other and yet shown the readers the magic of woman empowerment. When women come close and help each other—regardless of their social status or cultural background—they can soar high up to any level and cross any boundary of patriarchy. Yet it also shows how the world works, how people judge you the way you dress—a superficial and shallow mindset.
“But if you cannot change your situation, then you have no choice. You can only change how you think about it.”
The novel teaches us about hardships and starting over—that nothing stays with you, and nothing can matter more than your life if you don’t own it. Your freedom is what matters the most. The wealth, the luxury and everything that comes with it—they are all meaningless if you’re trapped in a gilded cage.
A great read about strength, hardships, and the journey from being invisible to being extraordinarily visible.