I wanted to like this book club selection but I found it too depressing and boring to finish. Here are a few comments from what I did read.
Mattie Ryder is recently divorced with two young children. Somehow she makes a living from modeling size 12 clothing for Sears? She's depressed from her divorce, and ruminates about her family, her children, and her friends. She sleepwalks through life, and the story plods along without much happening. When she finds a little blue shoe her father owned, the object becomes a small symbol of hope for her, bringing her comfort in her down time.
I did enjoy the symbolism of the shoe. Here Maddie reflects:She'd read somewhere that after World War II ended in Europe, lost children wandered around until they were gathered in campus run by the Allies. There they were fed and cared for while relatives were located or new families found who could take them in. In one camp it was discovered that none of the children was sleeping well. Their nerves were shot, the memories fresh and haunting. Then a social worker determined that if the children were each given a piece of bread to hold at night, they could fall asleep. This was not bread to eat--there was plenty of that when the children were hungry. No, this piece of bread was just to hold on to, to reassure the children through the night that they were safe now, that there would be bread to eat in the morning.
That is a precious story backed by object relations theory. As a psychologist, I sometimes give my clients stuffed animals or other objects to hang onto and to remember our work together, to help remind them of coping skills.
I also liked Angela, Mattie's blunt friend:"Honey," Angela replied, "you don't know yourself well enough right now to commit suicide. So it would be considered a homicide."
But overall I didn't care much for the plot or the characters. Mattie isn't very likable, nor is her attraction to a married man named Lewis. The physical description of Lewis was hardly appealing to me. Too bad this one wasn't for me!