"Papa's Shoes" by Madeline Sharples - My Five Star Review

Friday, July 05, 2019

The one thing I enjoy about reviewing books is that I get the chance to read something outside of my comfort zone. Lately, I have been exposed to some fantastic historical fiction books, one of those being Madeline Sharples' book Papa's Shoes.

You first meet Ira Schuman who wants to move his family to America. Yet tragedy has struck his family and he has lost three of his four sons and this tragedy has impacted his wife so much, she doesn't want to leave her home anymore. Ava is soon born and Ira still has his sights set on America.

The story transforms into becoming more Ava's story, as the title probably suggests. Ava grows up in America and soon she falls in love with a "goy," the son of Christian parents. This goes against everything her father wants, who, ironically desired so much to assimilate to American culture. The question becomes - what will Ava decide? Will she go against her father's wishes or marry the man she loves?

There is so much that I enjoyed about this book. I loved the culture of this family that I was exposed to. It brought me close to a world that I haven't seen firsthand before. The author adds in language specific to this culture as well.

What this book truly excelled at was bringing to light the complications, the struggles, the transitioning that must happen for all immigrant families. Madeline Sharples truly highlights how difficult it is to adjust to a new world while still holding onto who you are as a family and where you came from.

This book is a must-read to anyone who loves historical fiction and who wants a close reading experience with a family adjusting to a new world alongside a complicated love story that puts Ava's relationship with her family at risk. 

Papa's Shoes by Madeline Sharples is available in print and as an ebook on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and IndieBound.

About the Author: 

Madeline has worked most of her professional life as a technical writer, grant writer, and proposal process manager. She began writing poetry, essays, and creative non-fiction when her oldest son, Paul, was diagnosed as manic depressive. She continued writing as a way to heal since his death by suicide in 1999. Madeline’s memoir, Leaving the Hall Light On, first released on Mother’s Day 2011 in hardcover, is about living with her son’s bipolar disorder and surviving his suicide. Her publisher, Dream of Things, launched a paperback edition in July 2012 and an eBook in August 2012.

Madeline also co-edited Volumes 1 and 2 of The Great American Poetry Show, a poetry anthology, and wrote the poems for two books of photography, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Besides having many poems published in print and online magazines, writes regularly for Naturally Savvy, and occasionally for PsychAlive, Open to Hope, and Journeys Through Grief and The Huffington Post.

Find Madeline Online:


Angela Mackintosh said...

Excellent review, Nicole! :)

Mary Horner said...

You made me want to read the book, the highest compliment!

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