I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
A man’s journey to escape poverty and provide a better life in America for his family takes a series of unexpected turns as he struggles with tradition and his own beliefs versus the happiness of his daughter in author Madeline Sharples novel, “Papa’s Shoes”.
Ira Schuman is determined to move his family out of their Polish shtetl to the hope and opportunities he’s heard about in America. But along the way he faces the death of three of his four sons, a wife who does not have the same aspirations as his, and the birth of a daughter, Ava, conceived to make up for the loss of his boys. Ava grows up to be smart, beautiful, and very independent.
Besides having a feisty relationship with her overly-protective mother, Ava falls for the college man who directs her high school senior class play. With the news that she wants to marry a non-Jewish man, Ira realizes that his plan to assimilate in the new world has backfired. Should the young couple marry, he must decide whether to banish his daughter from his family or welcome them with open arms. Even though he won’t attend their wedding, he makes her a pair a wedding shoes. In his mind, the shoes are simply a gift, not a peace offering.
This historical fiction novel was incredibly well written. It did a great job of showcasing the dual nature of immigration by studying one man’s desire to secure a safe and happy future for his family in the United States, with his other desire to see his daughter marry someone within the same faith and people as they were. It is an in-depth look into the struggle to maintain one’s identity in an ever changing world, and the struggle to allow oneself to be open to change and accept the reality that our children must make their own choices in life, and a parent’s job is to support them and help them throughout those choices.
It was amazing to see just how much of the Jewish culture was explored in this novel, highlighting the resistance to change so many devoted followers of the faith feel as seen in Ira’s wife Ruth, which was strengthened by their strained marriage throughout the novel. The book did a wonderful job of exploring deep character growth and highlighting the natural interactions amongst the cast of characters, helping to highlight the emotional struggle of those involved.
This was a wonderful book to delve into. The author does a great job of highlighting the struggles of immigration, the beliefs and culture of the Jewish people, and the emotional struggle of a father and daughter, the former struggling between tradition and love for his daughter, the latter seeking love and struggling with the thought of losing her family in the process. The book’s beginning sets the tone for the fragility of life that is explored in this novel, and the struggle to aspire for a better life.
The double lives people lead, the heartbreak of following your dreams and passions in life at the cost of losing a family unwilling to accept your different outlook on life, and a simple yet powerful ending make this the perfect read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples today!
About the Author
Madeline also co-authored Blue-Collar Women: Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (New Horizon Press, 1994), co-edited the poetry anthology, The Great American Poetry Show, Volumes 1, 2 and 3, and wrote the poems for two photography books, The Emerging Goddess and Intimacy (Paul Blieden, photographer). Her poems have also appeared online and in print magazines, e.g., in the 2016 Porter Gulch Review, Yellow Chair’s In the Words of Womyn 2016 anthology, Story Circle Network’s journals and anthologies, the Best of Poetry Salon 2013-2018, and the Vine Leaves Literary Journal: a Collection of Vignettes from Across the Globe, 2017. And her articles have appeared in the Huffington Post, Naturally Savvy, Aging Bodies, PsychAlive, Story Circle Network’s HerStories and One Woman’s Day blogs, and the Memoir Network blog. One of Madeline’s essays has also appeared in the My Gutsy Story Anthology by Sonia Marsh.
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. 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:
———-Blog Tour Dates
Launch Day – June 3rd
Madeline Sharples launches her tour of “Papa’s Shoes” with an insightful interview and giveaway at the Muffin!
June 4th @ Coffee with Lacey
The lovely Lacey reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples and shares her review with readers at Coffee with Lacey. This is a blog stop and review readers won’t want to miss!
June 5th @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
Lisa Haselton interviews well known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – the story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America. This insightful interview is one you won’t want to miss!
June 6th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird shares her thoughts after reading the touching story of a Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America – “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples is a book that is sure to please readers!
June 7th @ Linda Neas
Today’s guest author at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas is none other than well-known author and memoirist Madeline Sharples. Today, her guest post is titled “How I reinvented myself from a technical writer and editor to a creative writer – and at my
age.” Heart from Madeline and learn more about her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”!
June 12th @ Linda Neas
Last week, readers at Words from the Heart with Linda Neas read a guest post penned by Author Madeline Sharples and today, Linda will share her review of Madeline’s latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”. This is a blog stop you won’t want to bypass!
June 18th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy Stucker interviews Madeline Sharples at Selling Books. Readers will flock to learn more about Sharples and her latest novel “Papa’s Shoes”.
June 26th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Fellow author and memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Don’t miss Linda’s insight into this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they move to America!
June 27th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews the latest best selling novel “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – readers will delight to hear what Nicole thinks of this crowd pleasing story of one Polish shoemaker and his family!
June 28th @ Deal Sharing Aunt / Vicki Brinius
Vicky Brinius reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples. Find out how she feels after reading this touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.
July 2nd @Author Anthony Avina
Fellow author Anthony Avina reviews “Papa’s Shoes” by Madeline Sharples – this is a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settled in America.
July 2nd @ Amanda Sanders
Amanda of Amanda Diaries reviews Madeline Sharples latest novel “Papa’s Shoes” – read Amanda’s review and add this lovely story to your TBR pile today!
July 4th @ Author Anthony Avina
Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will delight with today’s guest post and author interview with Madeline Sharples – learn more about her and her latest work!
July 5th @ Lisa Buske
Lisa Buske shares her review of “Papa’s Shoes” – the latest novel by Madeline Sharples and a touching story of one Polish shoemaker and his family as they settle in America.
August 12th @ Kathleen Pooler’s Memoir Writer’s Journey
Readers and writers alike will want to stop by Memoir Writer’s Journey to hear from Kathleen Pooler and friend / fellow author Madeline Sharples as they discuss Madeline’s latest book “Papa’s Shoes”.