What I read: Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

About the book:

(blurb from Penguin Random House SA)

Nisha Cantor and Sam Kemp are two very different women.

Nisha, 45, lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband inexplicably cuts her off entirely. She doesn’t even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in.

That’s because Sam – 47, middle-aged, struggling to keep herself and her family afloat – has accidentally taken Nisha’s gym bag.

Now Nisha’s got nothing. And Sam’s walking tall with shoes that catch eyes – and give her career an unexpected boost.

Except Nisha wants her life back – and she’ll start with her shoes . . .

 My thoughts

“People decide what they think you’re capable of based on how you look, doubly so if you’re a woman. And if you’re a woman of a certain age, that boils down to pretty much nothing.”

The title of the book states so much more than the obvious.  It is about walking in someone else’s shoes, literally and figuratively.

What I read: Someone Else’s Shoes by JoJo MoyesWhen Sam accidentally grabs the Nisha’s bag at gym, thinking it was her own, an entire series of events is set into motion.  On her way to a vital client meeting, she realises too late that she’s got the wrong bag.  Only wearing flipflops from the gym, she opens Nisha’s bag and behold – a shining pair of custom-made Christian Louboutin shoes!  This is not the type of shoe Sam would ever wear, let along can afford, but she simply doesn’t have a choice.  She needs to put it on. With that, a strange thing happens, this 40-something, overworked and drained mom and wife, feels so much more confident and empowered.  Just what she needed!

For Nisha, things pan out a bit differently.  Wearing only the gym’s robe and flipflops, she realised that her husband has locked her out of the luxurious hotel penthouse they live in.  He refuses to answer her hysterical phone calls, and she quickly realises that he left her for a younger woman, suspending her credit flow and literally leaving her out on the street.  To add insult to injury, the gym bag she took from the gym is not her own.  Instead of her beloved designer shoes, she finds a pair of sensible black flats.  Not her usual flamboyant style.

Well, I must be honest, I really struggled to Nisha’s character initially.  She is insufferable, shallow, entitled, and arrogant.   This spoiled trophy wife was quite difficult to empathise with.

Sam, as the total opposite, is meek, being bullied by a horrible boss, whilst having to deal with her husband’s depression, demanding elderly parents, and the financial stress of being the breadwinner.

How will their worlds collide?  What chaos will follow?

This was the first book of Jojo Moyes I’ve ever read.  I found it quite surprising, as I know that most of the author’s writing is usually romance-driven tearjerkers?  “Someone Else’s Shoes” was witty, light-hearted and entertaining.

At its core is strong character development, whilst being entertaining and at times, quite comedic.  It also touches on more serious topics like sexism, bullying, dread diseases, mental health and work-life balance.  It is about second chances and finding your tribe.  It is about female friendship and solidarity, hope and family.

Yes, it is maybe a bit predictable and will not win any literary awards, but who cares – it is a heart-warming read and just pure enjoyable escapism.  This book is like a warm hug, comfortable and very readable. If you are in a reading slump, this may just get you out of it!

Last, but not least – a dog named Kevin had me smiling from ear to ear.  And we need more of Jasmine and Agnes please!

With thanks to Penguin Random House SA for the opportunity to read this book!

RRR (Roelia Reads Rating) 7/10

The Details

ISBN 9780241415542

Format Trade Paperback

Recommended Price R350.00

Published February 2023

Read an extract

About the Author