Posted by: patriciamar | March 29, 2016

In Her Shoes, in my shoes, in your shoes…


In Her Shoes, by Jennifer Weiner, is probably more well known as a film (Toni Collette). Have you read the book?  The book is great.  An excellent choice in the chicklit genre, one of my favorite genres for vacations, work weeks, relaxation–you get the picture.  These books are for women, have strong female characters, nice guys (as in, handsome, sweet, strong, successful) and have women making both good and bad decisions.  They also focus heavily on relationships.  Said relationships are not only between males and females or couples, but also of the mother/daughter/father/daughter/sister/sister, sister/brother sort.

Many people find chicklit to be “light,” and in a way, I agree.  You can read a book in a day or a weekend, and you might.  It’s usually a one off, not often read and reread like your grand fantasy sagas, although I have reread “In Her Shoes,” and in fact, am rereading it now.

I have learned a few things from reading Chicklit, and the first is about emotion.  Emotion and emotions are hard to understand at times, even for the most earnest and kindest people.  Sympathy, empathy.  Do you even know the difference?

Reading chicklit and then writing, and then reading more chicklit, and then reading other genres, and writing more… this whole process has helped me to think and read more like a writer, and more importantly, to observe emotions.  Since I began living and reading “like a writer,”  I’ve learned to be a much better observer.

Another strange side effect is that I am better able to predict what is going to happen next.  This could be in a movie, in a book, or ah! in real life.  This means significant to me.  It means that reading helps you live life in a more prepared and understanding fashion.  Do you agree?

“In Her Shoes ” is the story of a woman betrayed by her sister, to put it very simply.  The protagonist is tough and smart, not pretty, necessarily, and not good in bed it seems (Another fantastic novel by Jennifer Weiner).   She has a rough relationship with her sister, an ok relationship with her father, her mother is no longer alive, and she cannot fathom having a relationship with her stepmother.  Already a lot going on, but that’s ok.

Some things happen, mostly bad, and you wonder how she can handle, how she can bear, so much bad luck.  Why wouldn’t she stand up for herself?  But then, you see, this is often how women are.  Don’t deny it.  It’s true.  You can talk the talk, but walking the walk, that’s a bit harder.  Why is this?

I’ll leave the rest for you to read on your own, but before moving on, I’d like to mention that in the book, there is a side plot with Maggie Feller (Rose’s sister) that is a critical piece of the story arch, and this piece was cut entirely from the movie.  Without it, the story is not the same.

“In Her Shoes” is also important to me because this is the genre of my first book, my novel, “Wandering Canalside.”  I dream of being as well-received as Jennifer Weiner like Susan Boyle dreamed of Elaine Paige.  Hey, it could happen, right?

jennifer weiner

Notice our books, right there on nearby shelves!?  Yay!

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