Val's Pick: "If the Shoe Fits" by Julie Murphy
If the Shoe Fits is an adult novel by author Julie Murphy best known for writing the successful young adult book “Dumplin'' which was developed into an original Netflix movie. Murphy continues to explore the theme of body positivity and self-love in this fun Cinderella-meets-The Bachelor mashup.
Cindy is an aspiring shoe designer in New York City when her stepmother asks her to fly across the country to be a fill-in nanny for her half-siblings. Struggling with getting her career off the ground, Cindy agrees and before she knows it she isn’t just filling in as a nanny, she is the replacement contestant on her stepmother’s TV show, Before Midnight (which bears a striking resemblance to the popular Bachelor franchise we all know and love). Cindy doesn’t fit the usual contestant mold - she is the first contestant who wears plus size clothes. She decides that the risk of putting her shoe designs on the show outweighs the cruel comments that are sure to come her way. Cindy has no intention of “playing the game” until her heart gets involved.
If the Shoe Fits is the perfect book to wrap up your summer reading. The Cinderella references are there but they don’t distract from the story. In fact, it’s fun to try and spot them as you read. While there is definitely some romance (after all, the show is about matchmaking) the main message of inclusiveness and self-confidence is what stays with the reader long after the book is finished.