By the time Sylvia
Richardson is eighteen, she has buried her parents; given birth to a daughter;
and become a widow. It is 1942, and World War II has destroyed Sylvia’s dream
of dancing in red high heels through life to the melody of a Hank Snow record.
Instead, she is raising her daughter, Sassy, alone in the coal mining town she
vowed to leave behind.
Lee Smith, author
of twelve novels and four collections of short stories including Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger had
this to say. “From its perfect first paragraph straight through to its hard-won
resolution, Mama’s Shoes is an
absolutely wonderful novel, its setting a beautifully realized small
Appalachian coal town, its characters so vivid they’re practically jumping off
the page. There’s conflict aplenty here too – between mother and daughter,
truth and lies, rich and poor, past and present – as thirteen year old Sassy
tries to determine the truth of who she really is.”
Spanning twenty years, Mama’s Shoesis a haunting tale of love,
despair, and forgiveness as a cadence of female voices weaves a spell of
mountain lore and secrets, defines family as more than blood kin, and proves
second chances can bring happiness.
Amy Greene, author of Bloodroot said, “In Mama’s
Shoes, immensely talented debut novelist, Rebecca Elswick weaves an
intriguing tale of buried secrets, at times both haunting and humorous, with a
cast of strong Southern women so real that I could almost hear them speaking to