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Shoe Book Review – 9½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes

Shoe Book Review – 9½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes

If shoe lovers with a penchant for autobiographies had a go-to book, Patricia Morrisroe's 9½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes would be it. How would I know? Well, I just finished reading it!

And as ShoeTease is a shoe blog in love with everything footwear-related, I'm excited to share my thoughts on another shoe book review!

Shoe Book Review: 9 1/2 Narrow – My Life in Shoes

shoe book review: 9½ Narrow

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If you've read the book or my review of Tamara Mellon's In My Shoes memoir Morrisroe's shoe tale has a completely different feel to it. 9½ Narrow takes a more nuanced approach to self-describing one's life & personal relationships.

Full of touching memories, this book follows Morrisroe's 5 decade journey via her many shoes. From her Mary-Janes & “Beatle Boots” to a pair of “classic” but terribly uncomfortable Manolos, each shoe in her footwear collection represents a distinct part of her life. Thus far, of course!

From small town Catholic school girl, to published New York City author, Morrisroe leaves no shoe or shoe-related anecdote unturned.

9½ Narrow includes a plethora of shoe history that'll tickle any shoe lover, fashion buff &/or historian pink. If you think you knew everything about shoes, this book might surprise you; I certainly was!

So in ShoeTease book review fashion (pun intended!) here are a few things you may like or dislike about Patricia Morrisroe's 9½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes…

shoe book review My Life in Shoes

Reasons you may like 9½ Narrow:

-It has funny to utterly hilarious moments (including a particularly humorous run-in with Arnold Schwarzenegger!)

-You will become well-school on the subject of shoes & footwear designers throughout the ages, their cultural importance & how much we integrate shoes, boots & high heels into our everyday language. Lots of famous shoe quotes are included to complete this shoe book!

-The memoir portion of the book is especially well written & touching: you really partake in the author's moments of pure joy & utter sadness. The real life ‘character' depictions of her family, friends & foes are brilliant.

-If you have trouble buying shoes because of foot size or foot problems, you will surely empathize with Morrisroe's! I never knew plantar fasciitis could be so debilitating.

-The author's honesty: It takes a strong woman to admit the following truth about high heels:

“I wish I could run, skip and jump in five-inch platforms, but I can't. I'm convinced few women can, only they fake it better”

Reasons you might not like 9½ Narrow:

-If you're under the age of 20. I believe a more mature audience, especially baby boomers, will appreciate the author's memories of growing up in the 50s/60s & venturing into adulthood in the 70s and beyond. I'm in my 30s & although I enjoyed her story, many references to the decades before my time were lost on me.

-If you're not interested in women's shoes or fashion, this book won't be your cup of tea. Kinda obvious, but I figured I'd throw that in!

-It often felt like I was reading 2 books that had been melded together in a bit of a disjointed fashion: one about the author's shoes & their historical connection, while the other, the actual memoir portion of Morrisroe's life. The transition isn't always seamless & some chapters seem to take on a life of their own: some delving deep into Morrisroe's personal reflection & others merely skimming the surface.

-Pictures! Although her descriptions are thorough, I would have liked a visual account of some of her shoes. I mean, “Bass Weejuns”? I had to Google image that!

Final Remarks on 9½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes

The reasons to read this book far outweigh the drawbacks. Morrisroe sucks you into her world from the very start & keeps you hooked throughout.

She has a knack for making you feel as if you're walking in her very shoes, vs merely witnessing her strides. A shoe lover's book written by a true shoe lover herself!

Thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of this shoe story- filled book!

xo ShoeTease

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Secret little Stars

Tuesday 21st of April 2015

Oh girl! How cure are your pictures? The book sounds lovely and definitely something I'd love to read in my spare time, but lately it's all been "educational"... This could pass as educational right? I heard so much about Girl Boss... Have you read it?

Those cute pics on the bed though....

Tatyana x :) Secret little Stars


Wednesday 22nd of April 2015

Thanks lady! It's a pretty easy read & a nice departure from my usual books on social media! I've not read Girl Boss (a little put off by the silly title to be honest!) but I'm eventually going to give in and read it. When you do, let me know how you liked it :)

xo Cristina