Italian Shoes

Italian Shoes

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Once a successful surgeon, Frederick Welin now lives in self-imposed exile. Nearly twelve years have passed since he was disgraced for attempting to cover up a tragic mishap on the operating table. One morning, he sees a hunched figure struggling towards him across the ice. The figure approaching is Harriet, the woman he abandoned 40 years earlier. In the late stages of a terminal illness, she wants to visit a small lake in northern Sweden. He upholds his pledge and drives her to this beautiful pool hidden deep in the forest. On the journey through the desolate snow-covered landscape, Welin reflects on his childhood and the woman he left behind. However, Harriet has left the biggest surprise until last.
Publisher: New York : New Press : Distributed by Perseus Distribution, c2009
Branch Call Number: FICTION MAN
Characteristics: 247 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Thompson, Laurie 1938-
ISBN: 9781595584366


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
FW_librarian Nov 05, 2014

This could be just my opionion, but it seems that most Americans like their movies and books to include lots of action and adventure as opposed to European and South American books and movies (those translated into English or have English subtitles, anyway) which center around self-reflection and observing others' behavior. Italian Shoes, translated from Swedish, is beautifully written about one man's self-imposed isolation and his forced return into relating with people. Facing his fears is painful (almost dramatic) but, necessary for filling an obvious void.

WVMLStaffPicks Sep 19, 2014

'I always feel more lonely when it's cold'. And it's cold a lot of the time on the isolated island in Sweden to which the protaganist has retreated in a self-imposed exile. But one day, a figure from the past appears on the ice, and everything changes in this compassionate novel of redemption and renewal.

aisha65 Sep 17, 2014

Henning Mankell has become one of my favorite authors. This book was not one of the Wallender series, but very enjoyable.

multcolib_susannel Jun 22, 2014

Living on an island entirely surrounded by ice during the long winter months, Fredrik Welin is so lost to the world that he cuts a hole in the ice every morning and lowers himself in to remember that he is alive. Haunted by memories of a horrible mistake he made as a surgeon, he lives completely isolated from every human emotion. One day he looks up and sees in the distance, a woman moving towards him using a walker.
The great strength of Mankell's writing is that he feeds the reader information bit by bit and creates characters as real as if they stepped off the street and started talking to you.

Aug 02, 2012

Set on a Swedish archipeligo where a man withdraws after a medical mistake. People from his past restore him to life.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Skokie Public Library

To Top