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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A funny, poignant coming-of-age memoir told through the shoes that she wore. From baby booties to orthopedic brogues (and all the high and low heels in between) shoes mark important rites of passage, reminding us of both the good and bad times: the road not taken, the prince that got away, the missed opportunities, the traveling, the fun. Most of all, they bring to mind the people we’ve loved …

9 1/2 Narrow: My Life in Shoes

by Patricia Morrisroe

Overall Book Review:

ute! This book is about shoes, yes, but it is also about a journey. Patricia Morrisroe knows how to tell a story, especially if it involves shoes. Footwear is obviously a big part of her life, and has been since she has been a young girl. She writes of shoes she longed for, shoes she bought for their looks, and her mother’s perpetual habit of returning shoes because they don’t “fit right”.

I, too feel the shoe obsession. There is just something about them, that calls out “buy me, try me on, look at how cute I am!” and this makes it hard to resist them. Shoes started out as protection and support for our feet, but now they are so much more. Patricia knows all about that, but she also knows that shoes don’t have to be good-looking. She writes about how beautiful or fashionable shoes are, but she also points out that there were points in her life where she needed to buy particular pairs of shoes to help her hurting feet.

This is a quirky and fun book about family, friends, life, and shoes. It jumps around a bit, not adhering to a specific rule as far as timelines go. I liked all of the little memories that the author shared, and how this book was so much more than just a story about shoes–it was a shoe memoir that combined passion with memorable moments, which made for a wonderful read.

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 mild obscenities; 3 derogatory names; 3 scatological words; 1 anatomical term.

Violence/Gore:  A dog grabs another dog by the throat and draws blood; a violent advertisement is mentioned; torture is briefly described; a woman is mentioned to be beheaded in history; a person is mentioned to have been killed in a war zone; a fairytale is recalled where a little girls feet are cut off; murder weapons are mentioned; a story is told about a girl being stabbed in very brief detail; a person is mentioned to have committed suicide by hanging; a rape is mentioned with no detail; a heart attack is mentioned to have killed a man; a person is mentioned to have jumped out of a window and killed him/herself; a man is described to be suffering and dying of AIDS.

Sex/Nudity:  Shoes are referred to as sexy; women’s sexual organs are referred to; “sexiness” is mentioned; scantily clad women are mentioned to be in an advertisement for soldiers to boost morale; a woman speaks of her feminine issues; a dog is referred to as a “sex maniac”; cleavage is mentioned; love affairs are referred to; a woman models nude; adults kiss; a woman is referred to as sexy; a young adult male and female sleep together; losing virginity is mentioned; a woman is mentioned to be topless; a man’s sexual organs are mentioned; a threesome is mentioned; a French kiss is mentioned to occur between two minors; an affair is assumed to be happening; cheating is mentioned; gay and S & M sexual affairs referred to; a naked woman poses for art reasons.

Mature Subject Matter:

Divorce, personal crises, affairs, AIDS, suicide.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Adults smoke cigarettes; adult smokes cigars; an adult uses heroin; adults drink wine; a ganja dealer is mentioned; joints and the smell of pot is mentioned; a drug addict is mentioned; drug use is referred to.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.