As many women know, a good-fitting shoe can make all the difference – just ask Cinderella! The perfect shoe can support us, help us stand a bit taller, make a statement on our appearance, and even make us act a little crazy. Patricia Morrisroe shares moments from her life and the shoes that came with them in her touching memoir, 9½ Narrow: My Life in Shoes.
A particular shoe marks almost each stage of Morrisroe’s life in 9 ½ Narrow. The book even starts with the first time she ever fell in love…with shoes. More precisely, a pair of white Mary Janes that she had to have. From then on, shoes seemed to play a significant role in her life. There were Beatle boots that accompanied the story of a competitive mother fighting with her daughter over who loves Paul McCartney more and a pair of ghillies that did not do so well with the junior high crowd. The chapter “Girlfriend Shoes” is about the joys and pains of friendship but also about how a memory can live on. For Morrisroe, a shoe invokes a memory in the same way that scent can trigger a memory for someone else.
In this memoir you will find humorous antidotes like Morrisroe’s high school English teacher, Sister Patrice, who was infatuated with a dead priest and an experience being chased around a movie set by pre-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. We also are there for her tough moments, such as her struggles to get pregnant and her difficult relationship with her sister. Most of all, they are “coming of age” stories for every age: they are stories we can all relate to in some way and at some time in our lives. From high school bullying, to first crushes, to losing a loved one, we’ve all been there and Morrisroe shares her experiences with openness and grace that makes this book incredibly endearing.
As Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.”
Twisted Talk: Has a shoe changed your life? Will you read 9 1/2 Narrow? Discuss below!