Sam Kemp is in a hurry. Her job as a sales manager is in jeopardy and an important meeting was moved, so she grabs her bag out of her locker at the gym as quickly as she could to make a run for it.

Nisha Cantor is a self-important, not very nice person (using my professional words). She wants what she wants and doesn’t really care if someone else has it. So, she throws the gym bag she finds in ‘her’ locker on the floor so she could use the locker she always uses at the gym.

It’s only when Sam is heading to her meeting with no time to spare that she realizes she has the wrong bag. It looks like hers but is clearly name-brand, not like her knockoff. And the shoes inside are not her respectable (and boring) pumps, but rather sky-high Christian Louboutins.

Nisha is outraged when she realizes her bag has been stolen. Yes, there is clearly a knockoff right nearby so possibly someone made an honest mistake, but what is she supposed to do? Wear someone else’s used shoes? That’s disgusting.

Sam has limited choices. She either goes to her meeting in flip flops or she tries to pull off a pair of slightly too small and way too tall heels at a business meeting. She needs to look professional, but who will take her seriously in flamboyant heels?

Nisha has limited choices. She either wears flip flops or a stranger’s shoes to head back to the hotel where her vast collection of clothing is stashed. The gym staff are no help whatsoever as their only option is lending her someone’s used sneakers.

While the man at her first meeting of the day thinks Sam might be drunk because she can’t seem to walk correctly, she starts to feel some of the power that can come from wearing coveted footwear and becomes more confident. She nails her next three meetings and brings in huge new accounts for her company which will hopefully save all their jobs. Which is good. As the sole breadwinner of her family, she can’t afford to lose her job.

While wearing someone else’s shoes would be near the bottom of Nisha’s list of things she would like to do, wearing flip-flops through the city is even lower, so she finds herself making her way back to her own wardrobe in very sensible pumps. Except when she arrives, she discovers her husband has ordered the hotel staff to not allow her access to their room anymore. After eighteen years of marriage, he’s done with her.

As it turns out, one pair of shoes has the chance to steer the destiny of two women. But will the women let the shoes lead or will they decide their own paths?

Jojo Moyes is the bestselling author of Me Before You, The Giver of Stars, and numerous other titles. Her novels have been translated into forty-six languages and have sold over thirty-eight million copies worldwide. She lives in Essex with her husband and three children.

If you enjoyed Someone Else’s Shoes, you may also enjoy:

  • Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
  • Maame by Jessica George
  • The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson

Sarah Johnson is a collection librarian at Mid-Columbia Libraries. She reads more than 120 books a year. In her free time, she teaches fitness classes, gardens, and brews kombucha.