Becky’s One Hundred and Seventy-Eighth Book Review: “Secrets of a Shoe Addict” by Beth Harbison

“Secrets of a Shoe Addict” by Beth Harbison is a kind of sequel to “Shoe Addicts Anonymous” and quite a fun read. I really enjoyed the first book, so I was excited when I found out there was a sequel. There are a few similar concepts and one of the characters from the first book is in this one, but the three main characters are all new and instead of strangers getting together to swap shoes, this group of women are already friends that come together to solve a pretty big problem. I really liked how this was set in the same world as “Shoe Addicts Anonymous” but without focusing on the same characters. It made for an entertaining read.

Abbey Walsh, Tiffany Vanderslice Dreyer, and Loreen Murphy all find themselves needing fast money in the amount of $10,000 apiece after an adventurous school trip in Las Vegas. Loreen calls her sister in an attempt to find a job with her startup shoe company and Sandra proposes a slightly unconventional solution:
“…Sandra could picture Tiffany sitting straighter on her square of linoleum, listening for the potential answer to her problems.
And maybe Sandra had it. “There is one thing I can think of, one way to make good money fast….If you’re really serious, that is.”
“There is?” Hope was clearly rising fast. “What is it? Does it take some special skill or education or something?”
“N-no. Not really. Just a willingness to…put yourself out there.”
There was a pause. “Sandra, you’re starting to make me nervous. What is it?”
“Keep an open mind.”
“I mean it. I don’t want you throwing this back in my face later. It’s a perfectly legit way to earn money, and I even did it myself for a while.”
“Do not tell me you were a prostitute.”
Funny how quickly she’d come to that conclusion. “No!”
“Thank God.”
Sandra took a short breath then continued. “Have you ever thought about the possibility of being a phone sex operator?”” (Secrets of a Shoe Addict, pg 69-70).

Once Abbey, Tiffany, and Loreen realize that there really isn’t any other legal means of making money to pay off their huge debts, they decide to give it a try. Hilarity ensues of course as you watch these soccer moms try to keep a big secret from their families and the judgmental mothers they know. I think that Beth Harbison does a great job of developing each character and really making you care about them.

Would I recommend this book? Yes – it is a light, fun read that would certainly appeal to the women out there looking for a beach read. I personally think that there are some men whom might appreciate the equivalence of a chic flick in a book, but the book is definitely geared towards a female audience. I have a few standalone novels by Beth Harbison that I look forward to reading.


Becky’s One Hundred and Eighth Book Review: “Shoe Addicts Anonymous” by Beth Harbison

“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.