Clicking Her Heels by Lucy Hepburn
|Clicking Her Heels by Lucy Hepburn|
|Genre: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Zoe Page|
|Summary: Shoeaholic Amy is devastated when her now soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend sells off her prized collection, and immediately sets off to try to recover them from their new owners in England and overseas, with some interesting consequences.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: N/A||Date: November 2007|
This didn't promise to be the greatest book, either from the blurb or from the first few pages, but it picked up quickly and was surprisingly readable by the end. Amy is a shoeaholic, though for some strange reason she only has 34 pairs which sounds quite reasonable to me, someone who is not even a big fan of the things. They are very precious possessions to Amy though, and a lot of her life seems to resolve around lusting after shoes and buying shoes and wearing shoes. She even has a special shoe cupboard for them in the flat she shares with boyfriend Justin. In other words, shoes are her life. So, when Justin believes Amy is cheating on him, he hits her where it hurts and sells off her beloved collection on eBay before kicking her out. Homeless and heartbroken, Amy decides to follow her heart, picks the shoes over her bloke, and sets off around the world on a mission to be reunited with her babies. Along the way she meets a clutch of colourful characters, from NYC drag queens to Polish builders, and, cliché ahead, starts to learn the secrets of her past as she pursues the shoes of her present.
It's not a tear-jerker of a book although it could have been - there is a vaguely heartfelt story behind the shoe search, especially in the case of a few pairs. Instead it's a sometimes funny, mostly amusing book that will make you titter rather than chortle, but is a nice easy read. This a book about boyfriends but also about fathers, about shoe shopping but also about ballet and about new friends as well as old ones. The story you end up with is not what you might expect as you start reading, but it is interesting nonetheless.
Where I thought this book fell down was in the approach to Amy's crisis and subsequent shoe search. As someone who is obsessed with the things, you would think she would notice her boyfriend rummaging around in the cupboard, checking details as he listed them on the auction site, and the fact she was away all weekend as they were being sold and dispatched is a little too handy. When she goes off on her search, I felt this would have been a really good opportunity to tell some interesting stories, but the limited pages meant she didn't get one good juicy tale out of each pair. This is a book that reminded me of Twenty Times a Lady but I felt that title accomplished what Clicking Her Heels didn't quite pull off.
There are a few gaps and inconsistencies in the story, but if you don't worry about these things, or if you don't really notice them unless you go looking specially, they might not always catch your eye. I thought some of the characters were mentioned too fleetingly, for example the ex girlfriend who had clearly scarred Justin for life, or the momentary love interest during her time in the States, and I would have liked to know more about them. That said, the story is generally quite neat, as the slightly inconceivable plot twists are, for the most part, handily explained - Amy's working for a travel company enabling her to get cheap worldwide flights at a moment's notice, for example.
Overall I quite liked this story but it's only good, never brilliant. Worth a space in the books-to-read stack next to your bed, but it doesn't need to be top of the pile.
Thank you to the publishers for supplying this book.
Shopaholics and shoeaholics might also enjoy Shopaholic and Baby.
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"she only has 34 pairs which sounds quite reasonable to me"
..maybe the book was written by somebody who, like me, owns about 6, including 2 pairs of heavy walking boots and 1 wellies? (and I don't think there was ever-ever time when I had more than 12).
I've just been and counted - one pair of wellies, one pair of walking boots, one pair of sandals (decent), one pair of sandals (indecent and used as slippers), one pair of lace-up shoes, two pairs of court shoes, one of which was last worn twelve years ago and the other pair at my grandson's baptism seven years ago. I'm not big on footwear!
I went and counted too: I have 1 pair of high-heeled ankle boots (they kill my back, and my right foot doesn't fit anyway cause I have an almost permanently swollen ankle), 1 pair of wellies, 1 pair of men's trekking sandals (Great!!! - the best shoes I own), 1 pair of trainery ecco shoes (almost with holes in soles, but still usable), 2 pairs of heavy walking boots (1 was just donated to me by MiL and I never wore it, so I am not very sure if they are even mine), 1 pair of falling-apart-slip-on-trainers that are being slowly phased out.
So you can see why anything that sugggests that shopping for shoes is some kind of archetypaly womanish activity makes me feel rather miffed!
I forgot my trekking sandals! That's because they live in the car.
I regard shopping for shoes as torture. Everyone else seems to have delicate feet. I always feel as though the shoe boxes would suit my feet better than their contents.
That's why I was so chuffed when I discovered that men's sandals fitted me so much better than female ones!
Shoe shopping is a nightmare, because even if they fit, they still take weeks to break in.
The fact that i go barefoot as much as I can doesn't help, because it adds width to my already existing problems of length, very high arch and at least one swollen ankle.
The only tight garment I enjoy purchasing is bras!
I'm afraid I don't enjoy purchasing any garment - tight or otherwise!
Ooh! Counting game! I have: wellies; monkey boots; Chelsea boots; posh shoes (they go to weddings and funerals); Adidas Gazelles; some weird things my mother bought me that you apparently wear on holiday and look like squishy clogs (never worn). That's a lot, right?! You're like the rose in between all the thorns hereabouts, Zoe, aintcha?!
Strange, isn't it, that the footwear of choice in Bookbag Towers is wellies?
To be fair my two most recent purchases were ballet shoes and tap shoes for my new Thursday night past-times. But I went to my shoe wardrobe (yes, I have a shoe wardrobe! The new house has way too much storage) to tot up. Work shoes (heels and flats), going out shoes (heels and flats), weekend trainers, (different) gym trainers, boots, sandals and flip flops are pretty much it. I have wellies too, but they're from Asda's kids section and they're pink with flowers on.
You can have too much storage?