If The Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy is a modern and creative re-telling of Disney’s Cinderella. I can’t tell you how many times my daughter watched the 1950 classic as a child. I can still clearly see all the characters, but if you need a refresher, click here.
Ms. Murphy’s cast has been re-imagined with many nods to the original:
|Disney Classic Cinderella||If the Shoe Fits|
|Cinderella, an orphan who is living with her wicked stepmother and stepsisters||Cindy Woods, an orphan, returning to her step-mother’s house in Los Angeles after graduating from Parsons School of Design with an emphasis on footwear design. Cindy had a rough last year of school due to depression. Without a job prospect, she has agreed to be the nanny to her triplet half-siblings. She is a plus-size woman trying to figure out her next steps.|
|Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepmother||Erica Tremaine, Cindy’s step-mother and the producer of the incredibly popular dating reality show Before Midnight (think The Bachelor). Erica is not wicked and tries to support Cindy the best that she can.|
|Anastasia and Drizella, the ugly step-sisters||Anna and Drew Tremaine, Cindy’s two older and very attractive step-sisters who are social media influencers. They have always been kind to Cindy, even though she only lived with them for three years in high school. In a last-minute need to fill vacant spots, they agree to be contestants on Before Midnight.|
|The Fairy Godmother||I can think of several characters that acted as Fairy Godmothers to Cindy. My favorite is Beck, the assistant producer of Before Midnight. She convinces Cindy that being a contestant on Before Midnight is a way to promote her talents as a shoe designer.|
|Prince Charming, the prince who is just trying to make his father happy||Henry MacKenzie, the charming “Suitor” on this season of Before Midnight. He works for his mother’s company in New York.|
|The Mice: Gus (Octavius), Jaq (Jaques), Mary and Perla||The triplet half-siblings of Erica Tremaine and Cindy’s father, Simon Woods, are Gus, Jack, and Mary. Petra was the surrogate who carried the triplets.|
|The King, Prince Charming’s father, who insists on throwing the ball so Prince Charming will find a wife.||Lucy Mackenzie, Henry’s mother, and a famous fashion designer. Unfortunately, her company LuMac is close to going under. She thinks that it will be a great boom to her business to have Henry on Before Midnight.|
|Lucifer, the cat who is a bully||Addison, the mean girl contestant on Before Midnight.|
|The Ball, where Cinderella must leave before midnight||The Ball is the opening event where the girls meet the suitor on Before Midnight.|
|The Glass Slipper||The Jimmy Choo stilettos encrusted with Swarovski crystals clustered together at the toe that Cindy gets to wear during her one-on-date with Henry on the show.|
I am not a big fan of romance novels, but I am trying more of them. I am also not a fan of the television show The Bachelor. Even though it was out of my wheelhouse, I requested this book because it filled a square on my Book Warriors 2021 reading challenge. Plus, the author lives near me, so I thought I should try one of her books. (I still want to watch the movie based on her book Dumplin’, which stars Jennifer Anniston).
Imagine my surprise when I really enjoyed this story. I was entertained by the witty dialogue and interesting characters. I even found myself rooting for Cindy to be chosen by Henry. As a plus-sized person myself, I love the way Julie Murphy advocates for fashionable clothing to be made for larger women.
4-plus stars. If The Shoe Fits is the first of a series called “Meant To Be”. This fun novel will be published on August 3, 2021. Thank you to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion Avenue for my advanced reader copy.