“Shoe Addicts Anonymous” by Beth Harbison was a fun, chic-lit novel that would be great to pick up if you are looking for a quick, enjoyable read. I would categorize this as a ‘beach read’ for sure, but that didn’t make the book any less enjoyable.
The premise for “Shoe Addicts Anonymous” is a group of women – all addicted to designer shoes and all going broke because of it – decide to meet in order to swap shoes. One of the tag lines on the back of the book is “Four different women. One common shoe size. And a shared lust for fabulous footwear.” The group ‘shoe addicts anonymous’ is founded by Lorna Rafferty who has an enormous amount of debt and can’t stop shopping for more shoes. On a whim, she decides to make a post on craigslist and see if she can meet up with other shoe addicts in order to swap designer shoes. Her ad is something along the lines of “you must wear a size 7 1/2 shoe, love designer footwear, and be willing to swap”. This ad leads to some unexpected friendships between four women.
Lorna starts the group because of her enormous amount of debt. Helene Zaharis is one of the women who comes. She isn’t in debt, but her husband wants a baby and cancels her credit cards until he gets his way. A third women is battling agoraphobia, so even though she has the means to buy shoes through the outrageous money she makes as a phone sex operator, Sandra Vanderslice joins the group to face her fears. Plus, what better way to get over your fear of leaving your house then to hang out with a bunch of women who love shoes as much as you? The fourth women who joins the group isn’t that into shoes, but is looking for any way to get out of the house as she is a nanny for two sweet boys with a terrible mother that takes advantage of Jocelyn Bowen at every turn.
These four women meet up every Tuesday. They trade shoes and form friendships and in the process, they fight and triumph over their problems. The book was funny, but with an underlying of drama that gave the book another level. The story is told from each of the four women’s perspectives which is a writing technique that I very much enjoy. I think that Beth Harbison has a real talent and I look forward to reading more of her work.
Would I recommend this novel? Yes, but it is certainly a book for a very specific audience. I don’t think most men would find the book appealing, but it is a great beach read. I’d say that it is a good book to read if you are a fan of Sophie Kinsella because it is along the same lines.