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Mavis's Shoe Paperback – 1 Mar 2011


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Mavis's Shoe + Rue End Street: The Sequel to Mavis's Shoe
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Waverley Books Ltd (1 Mar. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849341052
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849341059
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sue Reid Sexton lives in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. Mavis's Shoe was the first new Scottish novel to be published simultaneously in Braille and in print. It was Waterstones 'Book of the Month', in Waterstones 'Books of the Year' list 2011, a Books from Scotland 'Book of the Month', and was included in 'Books to Treasure' Book Week Scotland 2013.

Rue End Street is the sequel, as meticulously researched as Mavis's Shoe, and takes us the length of the Clyde Estuary and all the dangers and turmoil of the port of Greenock, known during WW2 as 'Port Number One'.

Sue has appeared on TV and radio talking about her work and is available for events and workshops.

Her advice to new writers is: 'Do it and keep doing it until you know what you're doing. Do it everybody else's way but finish with doing it your own. Learn to run. I mean real physical running as in jogging, if you can. I ran before I wrote seriously. What I learnt about running taught me a lot about how to write. Writing anything good, especially long stuff like novels, requires massive stamina, awareness of your environment and awareness of yourself.'

She has a website: www.suereidsexton.com
And a blog: www.suereidsexton.blogspot.com

Product Description

Review

'This haunting, beautifully-written blend of fact and fiction captures the strength of humanity, the courage in adversity and the heartbreaking loss caused by one of the most tragic episodes in our nation's history.' --The Daily Record Saturday March 26, 2011

A moving new novel about a child living in Clydebank during World War 2... Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gave her plenty of resources to draw upon when it came to capturing the feelings of survivors of war. --The Sunday Post

Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gives an insight into Scotland's most devastating wartime event. --STV The Hour

A moving new novel about a child living in Clydebank during World War 2... Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gave her plenty of resources to draw upon when it came to capturing the feelings of survivors of war. --The Sunday Post

Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gives an insight into Scotland's most devastating wartime event. --STV The Hour

A moving new novel about a child living in Clydebank during World War 2... Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gave her plenty of resources to draw upon when it came to capturing the feelings of survivors of war. --The Sunday Post

Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gives an insight into Scotland's most devastating wartime event. --STV The Hour

A moving new novel about a child living in Clydebank during World War 2... Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gave her plenty of resources to draw upon when it came to capturing the feelings of survivors of war. --The Sunday Post

Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gives an insight into Scotland's most devastating wartime event. --STV The Hour

A moving new novel about a child living in Clydebank during World War 2... Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gave her plenty of resources to draw upon when it came to capturing the feelings of survivors of war. --The Sunday Post

Sue Reid Sexton's work with war veterans gives an insight into Scotland's most devastating wartime event. --STV The Hour

About the Author

Sue Reid Sexton has worked with war veterans and as a counsellor specialising in trauma. She is from Glasgow.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Sprott on 3 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This book made me sit up right from the start. Lenny Gillespie tells the story - a nine year old who loses her little sister Mavis (who she is supposed to be looking after) just as the bombs start to fall at the beginning of the Clydeside Blitz. The blitz on Clydeside, which began on March 13th 1941, is not as widely known about as it should be - it was the most terrible concentrated bombing of the Second World War. Clydeside was flattenned - and why more deaths were not recorded is a mystery to many. Lenny doesn't take shelter - she is desperately seeking Mavis as the terrible bombs fall around her. The bombers came again, the next night - and still Mavis is not to be found - nor is Lenny's mother. It is an agonising tale - a young girl wrestling with what is going on around her - 'nothing makes sense'- everything is 'upside down and the wrong way up'. The grown-ups who enter the story are carefully crafted - and then there is little Rosie - curiously like Mavis it seems - who attaches herself to Lenny - and all the while Lenny carries a shoe which she has found during her search - she thinks it might be her wee sister's shoe - Mavis's Shoe. Close your eyes and you are right there on the Kilbowie Road - and later, in Carbeth. It is a work of fiction - but the author has done her homework which really brings Lenny's story to life. This is the best book I have read in a long time. Why has more not been written about and around The Clydeside Blitz ? I close the book wanting to know more about what actually happenned on these terrible nights in March 1941.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By katie may on 3 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book - a page turner from the very beginning. Lenny takes us on a journey which gives us insight into how the war was seen in glasgow through a child's eyes. Lenny's voice paints vivid pictures and real emotions that we can all relate to. Glasgow residents will see their home city in a completely different light, and most probably find out facts about the city's history that they never knew. The tale of Lenny's journey is incredibly moving - though often very sad - the author has clearly researched real events in detail, and I was thankful that the more negative aspects of the war were not sugarcoated. Great read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jane Wilson on 3 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I was gripped by this book from the start. I don't want to give away the ending but the book delivers a punch throughout. The Clydebank Blitz is not a well-known story or fact, and people in London certainly do not know about the amount of destruction and death. We always hear about London, and Coventry (not meaning to take away from the death and destruction there) but Clydebank suffered terribly, and you can still see today the aftermath of the bombing.

More importantly perhaps though, this book is very current in its anti-war message. It makes you realise how important it is for young people and adults to read and appreciate the effects of war.

I think this book is important, moving and well researched, and should be read by everyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jos Peel on 8 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
I heard about this on Insight Radio last week - a station I listen to regularly to because of the Talking Books - they interviewed the author Sue Reid Sexton - and it sounded fascinating with the Clydebank Blitz anniversary this month.
( I am not sight impaired but Insight's coverage of books is excellent.) I recommend this book - I thought it a really moving story - fiction based on the facts of these terrible nights of 13 and 14 of March 1941. It says on the back - 'an urgent, compelling story of trauma and a desperate search for survivors' which is exactly what it is.
I think this is a really good book to read and share and talk about. Not just an adult read - younger readers would really get something out of this - I guess early teens ? And I saw in the papers at the weekend that it has the thumbs-up from some of the survivors who have read it. A good book group choice I would say.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Moira Foster on 24 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
There were a couple of times at the beginning of this book where I wasn't sure if using the first person was going to sit comfortably with me. However, before I knew it I was totally engrossed and by the end I loved all the characters, but especially Lenny.
This can't have been an easy book to write: getting across Lenny's experience and subsequent trauma, in a way which didn't shy away from the horrific reality of the blitz, whilst maintaining the level of restraint necessary when writing for young people. In my opinion it takes a very skilled writer to achieve this balance. It is so easy to slip into overly graphic descriptions, or, patronise teenage readers. I thought there was great subtly in the writing which, for me, made the story all the more moving.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Hunt on 22 April 2011
Format: Paperback
A thoroughly engrossing read and a convincing evocation not just of the Clydebank Blitz but of adult mores of the era, as seen through the eyes of a child. Lenny survives the bombing but finds herself lost and alone, disorientated, traumatised, unable to find her mother or younger sister, Mavis, whose shoe she finds in the rubble. Clutching the battered shoe as a talisman, she is determined to find her sister, for whose disappearance she feels responsible. The author captures beautifully this young voice, which is simultaneously childlike yet disarmingly wise. Lenny always knows when she has to tiptoe around adult sensibilities, reminding us that children are more insightful and take in much more than we give them credit for. Highly recommended.
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