Reviewed by Poppy Johnson

Phyllis Norton Hoffman’s new book, Honey, It’s All in the Shoes is a testament to the fact that women can have it all. The popular publisher of Southern Lady magazine and other publications has come up with a novel way of relaying a familiar story. The author begins her book on a light note, and quickly draws the reader in to her life’s journey – as chronicled in her choice of shoes. Hoffman sees her pivotal life stages as eventful, filling and satisfying, and she rates each stage with enthusiasm. The type of shoe worn spoke volumes about the person that she was at the time, and helped her to shape the person that she would ultimately become. The story is a retro coming of age tale, but the reader will stay interested because the angle is so fresh and fun to follow.

The book is an easy beach read, or one to keep nearby if a few spare minutes come available to catch up where one left off. Hoffman skillfully intertwines a history of shoes in general, with the colorful history of her life. She writes about growing up in the South, and the cheery nature of the protocol that was never broken by Southern women with class. This style seemed to have less to do with a person’s accumulated wealth, and more to do with a woman’s determination to always look her best. Hoffman states that “Just as no two women share the same shoe closet, no two women share the same exact life experiences,” and I think we would all agree with this statement.

The author also dots the chapters with witty circular encased quotes from celebrities (“Put on your red shoes and let’s dance the blues” – David Bowie) to celebrated authors (“It is the flagrant lack of practicality that makes high-heeled shoes so fascinating.” – Stephen Bayley). There are also amazingly illustrated pictures of shoes from every period throughout history. These are scattered throughout the book as a whimsical punctuation, further depicting the strength of influence of the topic on a woman’s life, as it is summed up in the substance of her shoe closet.

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast. 

Phyllis Hoffman’s blog tour schedule is available at TLC Book Tours