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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Silver Shoes by Jill G. Hall

The Silver Shoes by Jill G. Hall
Published by She Writes Press 9781631523533
Trade paperback, $16.95, 336 pages

Jill G. Hall's novel, The Silver Shoes, tells the tale of two women connected to the titular shoes. Anne is an artist who lives in San Francisco but her boyfriend Sergio lives in New York City. On one of her visits to Sergio she visits a thrift store where she finds an amazing pair of silver shoes. They even fit her feet, which are on the large side. (Sergio affectionately calls her "Bigfoot".)

Anne wants Sergio to ask her to move in with him, or even better, to marry him. She would like to know that their relationship is moving forward, but Sergio never seems to want to have that discussion.

Anne works as a valet in San Francisco to make ends meet while she pursues her passion, her art creations. She has been getting a foothold in the art world in San Francisco having sold some of her pieces at a gallery, but she would like not to struggle so much financially.

In 1929, Clair lives with her long-widowed father at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City. Her mother died when Clair was just six, and her mother's sister June, a teacher and suffragette, has helped to raise her. (I loved Aunt June.)

At Clair's coming out debutante party, her father has declared that she will marry Farley, a man over ten years her senior whom she had not yet met. She disliked him immediately; he was a boring braggart who seemed to only care about money.

Clair meets the vivacious Winnie, a clerk at Macy's, and hiding it from her father, she accompanies Winnie to a speakeasy. At first frightened, Clair loosens up and begins to enjoy the music and dancing. Soon she is sneaking out more and more with Winnie, praying not to get caught by her father or the doorman at the Waldorf.

Everyday Clair passes a store window where she sighs over a pair of silver shoes, studded with rhinestones. How she would love those shoes- but her father would say that only floozies wear shoes like that.

Hall does a wonderful job telling both women's stories. Anne and Sergio's relationship seems very realistic, and she doesn't make Sergio the bad guy here, a guy who is afraid of commitment. I think many women will relate to Anne's situation.

Clair's story was a little more enlightening to me. You don't often think of women in the 1920's America being forced into an arranged marriage. And again, Clair's father could have been a one-dimensional character, but Hall gives him more shades than that.

I also enjoyed being immersed in 1920's New York City- the Waldorf, Macy's, the entertainment venues. I got a real feel for what it was like living at that time in the city where I now live.

Eventually, Clair and Annie are connected by the shoes, and I found that very satisfying. The ending to Clair and Annie's individual stories was more surprising to me, but they were both women who came into their own strength when they needed it most. I recommend The Silver Shoes, especially for those who enjoy books set in two different timelines.

Thanks to TLC Tours for putting me on Jill G. Hall's tour. The rest of her stops are here:

Monday, September 17th: BookNAround
Tuesday, September 18th: bookchickdi
Thursday, September 20th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, September 24th: A Bookish Way of Life
Tuesday, September 25th: Ms. Nose in a Book
Wednesday, September 26th: Wining Wife
Wednesday, September 26th: Books and Bindings
Monday, October 1st: Broken Teepee
Tuesday, October 2nd: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Wednesday, October 3rd: Reading Reality
Thursday, October 4th: Instagram: @writersdream
Friday, October 5th: Write – Read – Life
Friday, October 12th: Instagram: @the_need_to_read


  1. The 1920s are of the the era I really enjoy reading about - it was such a crazy time!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  2. I like a dual time-period story, so I'll have to if this is in my library. One of my grandmothers (normally pretty socially conservative) told me she visited a speakeasy in Cleveland!

  3. I do like two timelines when it's done well. I also like the 1920s New York setting so I bet I'd like this book.