Book Review: Shoe Fetish 2: Grown Into High Heels
Publication Date: Feb 03, 2016
List Price: $16.95 (store prices may vary)
Page Count: 294
Imprint: Amazon Digital Services
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Parent Company: Amazon.com, Inc.
Book Reviewed by Carol Taylor
Shoe Fetish 2: Grown Into High Heels is part social commentary, murder mystery, female empowerment novel; and is as much a search for self, as for love. It’s also a love letter to the power of the perfect relationship with men, and also shoes. Ultimately it is a novel about relationships first and footwear second. Don’t let the title (or the amount of time the authors spend describing shoes) fool you into thinking it is a book only about shoes. It’s also about how the perfect relationship makes us feel empowered, and what makes it perfect. Not unlike the perfect pair of shoes.
“A woman must first be empowered to be who she is, before she can begin to think of who she might become. A woman may not always remember the words she may have heard throughout her life, but she will remember how she felt when wearing that special pair of shoes… What is your story behind your collected life experiences and the shoes you have worn as you grew into who you are today, continuing to mature and experience various relationships and oh so many, many shoes? Knowing why we select a particular pair of shoes (or man) goes far beyond the fact that they look good. We must look deeper into ourselves to fully understand why we make the choices we make in life and how perhaps so many times our shoe selection is a reflection of ALL those choices…”
Shoe Fetish 2: Grown Into High Heels is the sequel to Shoe Fetish: A Woman’s Love for Her Shoes & Her Men. The first book was about three teenage girls making their bumpy way into adulthood as they try to navigate failed and abusive relationships. In book 2 those three girls have grown up and are coming to terms with the choices they made in book 1. If you haven’t read the first book, it may take you a while to figure out what is going on in book 2.
Shoe Fetish 2 draws a correlation between what makes for the “perfect” shoe (and the “perfect” man) and different aspects of our relationships at different times in our lives. Each chapter opens with a description of a type of shoe and what it means to a woman, which is the theme of the chapter. For instance: The Suede Pump: “Simplicity. Sophistication. Confidence…Not yielding to every fashion trend, true to self. A leader not a follower is the owner of this sweet shoe.” Or the Clear Platform Stripper Heels: “When you want to be a bad girl and maybe with a potty mouth.”
Seems like a good start, and it is until you start reading and the poor editing and typos distract you from the quite fun story of women searching for love and creating family (some by birth, some by fate) all the while wearing the perfect shoe. The Foreword (not really necessary in a novel) that espouses the Shoe Fetish Movement (which could have been incorporated into the dialogue) didn’t help. Neither did an opening page detailing the girls flying to San Antonio, Texas for their twenty-year high school reunion in 1995, which seemed to have nothing to do with the rest of the story, which is set after one of the girls has been murdered.
Beyond the choppy storytelling the book needed editing, and proofing to make it polished and easier to follow. Dialogue wasn’t always shown in quotes and narration was sometimes included with the dialogue in quotes, “Ten o’clock, she grins, time for the show!” Characters’ names were spelled incorrectly, and sometimes the story was told in the past and the present tense. These issues made the book seem not well written or constructed. This is a shame because the story has a lot of good insight from characters readers can relate to who are each dealing with their own struggles and have life lessons to share.
TheLetter De LaRue (yes, that’s her name and that’s how it’s spelled, mostly), Carmen Robertson, and Bethany Childs were childhood friends until TheLetter’s death. De LaRue’s ex- husband Richard has been charged with her murder, leaving Carmen to “adopt” their young son Keon. We enter the story shortly before the trial. Carmen lost her husband, the father of her two children, five years earlier in a “traffic accident”. Bethany who has worked hard to establish an “interior design business and couture fashion collection”, is having an affair (spoiler: so is her husband). Beth eventually struggles to decide if she should stay in the marriage for her children’s sake. Unfortunately some of these life lessons turned into lectures. Mostly from Carmen, who is the lynchpin of the story and who seemed a little judge-y, and whose dialogue at times turned into proselytizing.
Fortunately, once you get through the typos and figure out the backstory to TheLetter’s murder, you’ll find that what you have is a highly readable story about, love, loss, faith, family and friendship, that is not only entertaining but also insightful. I read it in one sitting. You will too.
It’s a shame that the authors, who constructed what is a quite entertaining story, and relatable characters, did not have it properly edited and proofed, especially since this is book 2 in a trilogy. I hope for book 3, the authors work with an editor who will give their story and characters the attention they deserve.