Sensible Shoes: A Story About the Spiritual Journey – Sharon Garlough Brown


Sharon Garlough Brown tells the moving story of four strangers as they embark together on a journey of spiritual formation: Hannah, a pastor who doesn’t realize how exhausted she is. Meg, a widow and recent empty-nester who is haunted by her past. Mara, a woman who has experienced a lifetime of rejection and is now trying to navigate a difficult marriage. Charissa, a hard-working graduate student who wants to get things right. You?re invited to join these four women as they reluctantly arrive at a retreat center and find themselves drawn out of their separate stories of isolation and struggle and into a collective journey of spiritual practice, mutual support and personal revelation. Along the way, readers will be taken into a new understanding of key spiritual practices and find tangible support for the deeper life with God. If you want to travel this journey with others, you will find a group study guide and book club resources at

My review

Sensible Shoes is a beautiful fiction/spiritual exploration. The novel centres around four women from different backgrounds, with their own stories. Hannah is pastor who needs a break, Charissa is a perfectionist completing a university degree, Mara is a woman who struggles with self worth and Meg has experienced loss and pain that has followed her throughout her life. Each woman decides to attend a Christian Retreat centre and learns a lot about God, the Word and themselves. This is not simply a fiction novel and I can understand why study guides and bookclubs have been created for this book. The author, Sharon is a spiritual director and it appears she has used her knowledge, experience and love for the Lord to write this book. Each character, each situation, each reference to the Bible is a teaching and I found that at times I had questions and suffering that related to one or more characters. Each time the characters visit the retreat centre there are activities and reflections they complete. The comments and questions are an excellent source for the reader too. I used the meditations and questions for my own personal journey too. This is a beautifully written novel aout four women whose lives intertwine. It is also a very important spiritual book. I read it slowly and enjoyed the teachings. This is a novel to be savoured, not sped through. What an insightful novel. What a beautiful way to further connect readers to God and the scriptures. I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series.

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