Love, loss, greed and redemption are just a few of the themes explored by Keir Alexander in this stunning debut. I was hooked from the start and it's one of those rare books which becomes an imprinted experience that plays over in your mind long after you've finished reading it. I absolutely loved it! The slippers of the title are Judy Garland's from The Wizard of Oz. They are the focal point for a modern parable where each character struggles to find true value in their life.
It's a gripping multi themed story. I was grabbed by a narrative which moves the story forward skilfully in small bites. There's a finely drawn cast of characters each with a tale to tell as their lives and paths weave across a New York backdrop. There's a real sense of place and time as disparate threads are carefully drawn together and the central characters start to learn what really matters. From the laconic, streetwise youth who lives with his god fearing aunt to immigrant refugees seeking a new life, each voice is distinct and different. They become an eclectic microcosm drawn by temptation and opportunity.
The pace is superb; there are moments of genuine pathos balanced by events which brim with true happiness. It's filled with insight into souls motivated by greed. The underlying story about the acquisition of the slippers and their stark juxtaposition to Rosa, the bag lady's life is a tantalising reveal which swept me along and ultimately took me by surprise as the plot unfolded. Original and haunting, this book's a literary gem.
My thanks to lovereading for a pre publication copy.