Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Book Review: In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner

Goodreads synopsis: Rose is a thirty-year-old attorney with a secret passion for romance novels. She's going to start exercising next week, and she dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses and tell her she's beautiful. Maggie is twenty-eight and drop-dead gorgeous. Although her stardom hasn't progressed past her hip's appearance in a music video, she dreams of fame and fortune. These two sisters claim to have nothing in common but DNA, a childhood tragedy, and a shoe size, but when they're forced into cohabitation, they may just learn that they're more alike than they thought

421 pages
3.73 average rating on Goodreads
Published: 2002
Genre: Adult, Romance, Comedy, Contemporary

Rose is a quite relatable character for me - chubby, smart, plays by the rules, and just hopes that she won't die alone. Her younger sister Maggie likes to think she's a superstar, but Rose wishes she'd just grow up and make something of her life already.

When Maggie gets evicted from yet another apartment Rose is forced to let her sleep on her couch, much to both of their disdain. And so ensues the cycle of Maggie messes up, Rose gets angry, then ends up feeling sorry for Maggie and gets her out of her mess. This continues until Maggie makes a mistake of epic proportions and Rose kicks her to the curb.

Enter Ella Hirsch, a sad old lady who lives at Golden Acres Seniors Complex in Florida. We've seen sketches of her story throughout the book and know that she has lost a daughter and is estranged to her two granddaughters. Is it a coincidence that Rose and Maggie had a mother who died when they were little, and have never known their grandmother who so desperately tried to keep in touch with them? I think not. 

When Maggie's last ditch attempt to evade homelessness fails, she finds a box of letters in her stepmothers closet from the grandmother she never knew existed, and decides to contact her. Maggie hopes that with her grandmother's help she can finally do something with her life, and also make things right with Rose.

I found it interesting to read about the dynamics between these two sisters, a foreign concept to me as  an only child. I really enjoyed Rose's character and thought it was very well-developed. Although I didn't like Maggie, she was a very funny and fascinating character, and it was interesting to see inside her mind. Even the secondary characters (Amy, Sydelle, Ella) were developed and you came to feel as though these were real people that you knew.

Overall I give this book 4.5/5 stars, simply because I don't think I'll be reading it again, but I did thoroughly enjoy it while I was reading it.

If you've read this book or anything else by this author please feel free to share your thoughts :)

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