Meet Rose Feller. She's thirty years old and a high-powered attorney with a secret passion for romance novels. She has an exercise regime she's going to start next week, and she dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her that she's beautiful. She also dreams of getting her fantastically screwed-up little sister to get her life together.
Meet Rose's sister, Maggie. Twenty-eight years old, drop-dead gorgeous and only occasionally employed, Maggie sings backup in a band called Whiskered Biscuit. Although her dreams of big-screen stardom haven't progressed past her left hip's appearance in a Will Smith video, Maggie dreams of fame and fortune -- and of getting her dowdy big sister to stick to a skin-care regime.
These two women with nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared DNA, and the same size feet, are about to learn that their family is more different than they ever imagined, and that they're more alike than they'd ever believe. "In Her Shoes" -- Jennifer Weiner's follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut, "Good in Bed" -- observes Rose and Maggie, the brain and the beauty, as they make journeys of discovery that take them from the streets of Philadelphia to Ivy League libraries to a "retirement community for active seniors" in Boca Raton. Along the way, they'll encounter a wild cast of characters -- from a stepmother who's into recreational Botox to a small, disdainful pug with no name. They'll borrow shoes and clothes and boyfriends, and make peace with their most intimate enemies -- each other.
Funny and poignant, richly detailed and wrenchingly real, In Her Shoes will speak to anyone who has endured the bonds of big -- or little -- sisterhood, or longed for a life different from the one the world has dictated, and dreamed of trying something else on for size.
The Feller sisters are equal but opposite. Maggie is the good-looking, dyslexic little sister who knows how to get anything she wants--but not how to keep it. She "felt as if somewhere between the ages of fourteen and sixteen she'd walked off the edge of a cliff and had been falling ever since." Rose is the plump, practical, responsible older sister who knows about law but not much about her own happiness: "What did she like, besides shoes, and Jim, and foods that were bad for her?" When Maggie's latest eviction lands her in Rose's apartment, and Maggie insults Rose by seducing one of her sister's rare boyfriends, what follows is a chain of events by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. Embarrassed Rose evicts Maggie and begins a work sabbatical leading to a new livelihood and way of living. Maggie flees and runs away to Princeton. Masquerading as a student, she learns to love poetry and saves money for a trip to Miami--and a visit to a long-lost grandmother named Ella who might offer her a last shot at sanctuary. But In Her Shoes, the second novel from Good in Bed author Jennifer Weiner, is about more than the sisters' latest sibling rivalry; Maggie and Rose must sort out the childhood vulnerabilities and family mysteries that still linger two decades after their mother's death. In less capable hands, the plot might grow corny, but Weiner's humor and affection for the characters ultimately helps them transcend both neuroses and grief and learn the redemptive power of love. --Jane Hodges