Originally Posted at Bibliophile's Retreat by Melissa Meeks
B & H Publishing (April 1, 2009)
Well here we go jumping genre fences to contemporary women’s lit. This one has a very slight romance thread but focuses primarily on the heroine instead of the love story. However the title becomes a bit of a play on words as you read along. Dottie (short for Dorothy) is caught in the midst of a Kansas tornado, many of which she has already weathered and although she doesn’t end up in Oz with her dog Otto (who it appears bears a remarkable resemblance to Toto not just in name), she does wake up to find herself in LA which is definitely a far cry from her Kansas farm. As she awakens she also discovers a pair of slippers which are purported to have been passed down from her grandmother to her mother. The history of these slippers is rumored to involve her grandmother’s career in Hollywood wardrobing for several well known stars including the one who supposedly sported these famous shoes for a brief scene of the movie her life seems to be paralleling at the moment.
Her absent father, appeared at her bedside as she was recovering from the injuries received during the storm that destroyed the only home she’s known and left the shoes in lieu of flowers or a card while she was unconscious. The appearance of the shoes sparks several mysteries as well as unsavory pursuers anxious to own a piece of Hollywood’s fame and fortune. Along with the mysteries related directly to the shoes themselves, Dottie and friends embark on a journey to track down her father’s whereabouts and verify the rumors surrounding the shoes as well as their rightful owner if not themselves.
Drop into Leanna Ellis’ whimsical journey down memory lane in this novel though the path is a bit strewn with the bitter truth of reality along the way. Dottie experiences her own homesickness and in a sense the slippers become her perceived key to recoup the home she insists she is so attached to. While not the original Baum, this is a wonderful contemporary journey that plays up the mythical fantasy so prevalent in the world of Oz yet happens right here in our own backyard amidst the realities of life. (ISBN#9780805446982, 320pp, $14.99)