book

The Red Shoe Quotes

10 of the best book quotes from The Red Shoe
01
Share
Over ten days, between Sunday 11 April 1954 and Easter Tuesday 20 April 1954, this story introduces big events into the lives of three sisters on the outskirts of Sydney.
Ursula Dubosarsky
author
The Red Shoe
book
sisters
every day life
story
lives
short period of time
big event
Sydney
concepts
02
Share
I loved the way that six-year-old Matilda could observe so much without always being able to make sense of what she saw. I felt for Frances and hoped that Elizabeth would be okay.
03
Share
Funny, tough-minded and tender, this is the story of Matilda and her two sisters growing up in Sydney, Australia, in the early 1950s. Their father is mentally unstable and largely absent, their mother is possibly in the thrall of his brother, and a headline-making Russian spy defection is taking place next door.
04
Share
Mostly we see the story through Matilda’s point of view which, as Matilda is only six, provides an interesting perspective. Frances is eleven and Elizabeth is fifteen. Each day is heralded in with news headlines, so we read about new cases in the polio epidemic and the Petrov Affair. Against this backdrop, Frances worries about a school friend with polio, Elizabeth wonders about Mrs Petrov and Matilda observes all manner of things.
05
Share
“Today Mathilda’s family went to the movies, the next day they went to the beach, then they had a picnic”. I kept wondering what the point of the story was - obviously had to do with the father but even that didn’t intrigue me in the slightest.”
06
Share
Duborsarsky’s descriptions of the girls’ surroundings, as well as her subtle details about each one of their personalities, creates very vivid images of each character. However, the characters as a whole seem to fall a bit short, never being fully realized, as only Matilda seems to go through the greatest changes from beginning to end.
07
Share
The story is told through the alternating point of view of three sisters: Matilda (6), Frances (11) and Elizabeth (15). The events of a mysterious neighbor “who looks like a spy” (according to Matilda) are recounted alongside flashbacks and hardships dealing with their father, a veteran of World War II, who suffers from post-traumatic stress and often leaves his family for lengths of time.
08
Share
‘In a house far away, right at the end of a long dusty road deep in the bush at the back of Palm Beach, lived three sisters with their mother, their father, and sometimes their Uncle Paul. The three sisters were called Elizabeth, Frances and Matilda.’
Mother
character
09
Share
The girls, who often experience related feelings of isolation and misunderstanding, live in a rundown home on the far-rural edges of Sydney, Australia with their uncle, a piano player at a dilapidated hotel in the city, and mother who may be carrying on a secret affair.
10
Share
I worried about the girls’ father and wondered about how much the mother relied on Uncle Paul. I really enjoyed the news headlines and how Ms Dubosarsky built aspects of those stories into this book.

Recommended quote pages

View All Quotes