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Wednesday 4 March 2020

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes by Ruth Hogan

What a wonderful, wonderful book. I didn't want it to end after many hours in the company of Kitty Muriel, her partner, Elvis (not the uh-huh-huh one, you can keep him, thank you very much), Edward, Marcus, Haizum (Irish wolfhound…I want one) and, of course, Sally Red Shoes. Delightful, joyful, colourful…nice people. 

This was a book written by the author to try and show that from the quagmire of deep despair, there is life and there is love. Not least, because the author herself had her own battles to win (and did, I should add). In the book, it's Masha who needs to be shown the way…twelve years of grieving after her own tragedy was taking its toll on everyone, not least herself. Cue Kitty M and Sally Red Shoes. Two extraordinary, self-empowering ladies with the voices Masha needed. 

Hogan is an artist with words. She paints a magnificent masterpiece with them. I lost count of the number of phrases I read and thought, oh, I love that, I must remember that. (How I wish I could!) This is a book bursting with grief and tragedy, poignancy, hope, love, humour, wit and candour. But there's no need for tissues, don't worry. Hogan's skill is wrapping sadness in a cacoon of humbling enlightment and surprise. 

But what touched me most, let me tell you, is that in her acknowledgements, the author thanked her readers FIRST. Readers are usually in the….'and finally…' 

Put this on your reading list right now!

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