Sandra D. Bricker's novel If the Shoe Fits is a cute story - a "contemporary fairytale" - about whether two friends can fall in love. Just starting up their own law firm, attorneys Julianne Bartlett and Will Hanes have been best friends forever and now finally even get to work together. As their business gets going, they face a number of difficulties, from murderous clients to fraudulent employees to their own messed up love lives. Will knows that he is in love with Julianne and pretty much always has been, despite dating a number of other women. Julianne hasn't really considered Will again since their disastrous date back in high school, though she tends to be unhappy about his relationships, and anyway, she just encountered an "angel" - a hunk of a man who stopped traffic to rescue a dog and lost his tool box and boot in the process. It must be a sign from God, right?
When I first saw the cover, my automatic thought was, "the guy in the work boot wins the girl - the rich man never does." To my surprise, the book wasn't really about rich or poor or works-with-his-hands versus pushes-paper, and it wasn't at all what I was expecting in terms of "should I marry him, or do I really love my best friend instead?" What it amounts to is that Julianne knows she is pursuing the wrong man - God makes it abundantly clear - but she doesn't feel like there is anyone else who would have her, either - not Will, not anyone, so the cover is a little deceptive. Bricker doesn't elaborate on it, but she makes the important point that a Christian should only consider another Christian as a spouse, though Julianne doesn't heed that advice in her desperation to have any man besides Will-the-consolation-prize on her arm.
While it is described as a contemporary fairytale, it is more a story of a girl who desperately wants the fairytale - so much so that she chances missing out on true love right in front of her. Cinderella gets her ball and wows the price, loses her slipper running away, and even has a fairy godmother. However, it isn't as easy as fairytales imply; there is a lot more vulnerability and soul-baring than she expects.
It was a cute story, with lots of humor to sweeten the message on pride. While there were not a lot of deep conversations, the characters were obviously Christians, though they were just as obviously as prone to do dumb things as the rest of us. Thank goodness for God's grace! Pride gets them nowhere, but humbling themselves before each other and God goes a long way. A fun read; 4 out of 5 stars