Book Club: Sensible Shoes - Whose Do You Walk In? Who Are You?

Posted at 04:27am on 13th July 2018

Who are you? Whose shoes do you walk in? Is this a question you've ever ask? No. I don't mean do you ask it of other people. That's not British! Downright rude, in fact. So - who are you? Is this something you have ever asked of yourself? And if so, how did you answer?

Well, that's obvious, I hear you say. Who am I? I'm a wife, a mother, a daughter, a friend, a retired copyright manager . . . And, of course, I'm a multi-published author since 1983, with commissions from Hodder & Stoughton and a Sunday Times No 4 Bestseller.

There! I trot that one out regularly. Because I have to! Because I read, recently, that having a 'platform' is now deemed more important to publishers than the subject matter of a book; or the author's skill in writing it.

Be that as it may. But who am I? Really? It's a question I've been asking all my life, but one that I am, perhaps, only now beginning to grasp.


I'm currently reading the novel, Sensible Shoes by Sharon Garlough Brown, for the Book Club I lead. Evocatively written, it draws you in with compelling intensity. As a result, I find myself trying to see which of the four women characters' shoes best fit me. Here they are:

  • Charissa, a married graduate student who is a perfectionist
  • Mara, who is haunted by her sexual past and has a difficult marriage
  • Meg, a widow whose daughter has just left home, thus rendering her an 'empty-nester'
  • Hannah, a pastor who has never married and is dedicated to her job

The women have met, for the first time, while on retreat. All four have been persuaded to go by friends or colleagues who are concerned for them and their circumstances. Each is trying to come to terms with the question posed in the seminar: Who am I? And each, as I read of their interaction with one another while on retreat and learn more of their story, makes me wonder which one I most relate to.


I suppose, in reality, there are bits of me in all these characters. Working from the top down, Charissa, I know myself to be a - nearly - reformed perfectionist. As I type these words, I realise I could be writing them in the dust on the table alongside me. I'm aware that the ironing basket overflows; that I'm still un-showered and in my dressing gown until coffee time each morning; and that there are unanswered emails in my Inbox, and a growing To Do list in my Task box. So I'm nearly there - a fully reformed perfectionist. Aren't I?

I still, however, have a colour-co-ordinated wardrobe; a colour-categorised calendar; and a propensity to cringe when confronted with ungrammatical phrases on social media and TV. Nevertheless, the immaculately embroidered tray cloths in the dresser drawer - reminiscent of my schooldays, the impeccable tapestry that adorns the piano stool - executed when I was an au paire in France, and the photographs of my girls in their 'mummy-made' beautifully smocked frocks, are in the past. They are nothing more than memories of a time when anything that was less than perfect in my life had to be unpicked. They are reminders of where I've come from.

And this, too, is one of the questions the four ladies are asked in the book. 'Where have you come from?'

A good question! One we'll leave for next time. Book Club: Sensible Shoes - Who Are You & Where Have You Come From?

COMING SOON 2018: Feeling Useless or Unheard? Don't! You're . . . PICKED FOR A PURPOSE

Mel Menzies has an impressive track record with her books. Look in the mirror of 'Picked for a Purpose' and it may prove life changing! David Coffey OBE, BMS Global Ambassador, Retd

This book is not only a personal testimony but also an inspiration for the readers to discover that the Lord is able to bring a similar blessing to them. Michael Cole, Editor of Living Light

Read this book and find hope rather than cliches, substance rather than slogans. Highly recommended. Jeff Lucas, Author, Speaker, Broadcaster

The reflections and challenging questions at the end of each chapter, encourage the reader to focus the mind and find answers that are unique to themselves. A sincere, compelling read. Marjorie Broadhead, Headmistress and OFSTED Reporting Inspector, Retired

Your Comments:

16th July 2018
at 10:19am
I am a Christian, mother, bellringer, arctopile, reject.
Rejected by my mother at birth (because I wasn't a boy)
Rejected by my husband
Rejected by my church because of my views on women priests
Merrilyn Williams
16th July 2018
at 11:45am
But loved, not rejected, by your offspring and your friends, and a beloved Child of God.

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