Connected Fiction- Term of the Month (ToM)

P.B. Hollingsworths’ Shoe Shoppe

The Odyssey of an Uneasy Enterprise

Recommended age of engagement- 16+ and adults

An irreverent, dark political satire with comedic and anachronistic elements, this novel explores the themes of unchecked consumerism, misogyny, ageism, bigotry and social inequality. No social stereotype is held sacrosanct in the novel’s ultimate aim. It will cater to teens 16 years and older as well as adults, especially those familiar with Afropunk literature.

P.B. Hollingsworths’ Shoe Shoppe tells the story of a master cobbler and his family from the small town of Billingsgate, who run a very successful bespoke shoe shoppe on the enterprising, upmarket Pemberton Road. Mr. P.B. Hollingsworth I and his ambitious wife, Floretta Mary Jane, a gifted cook, move their thriving shoe shoppe to the seedier side of town, Stooper’s Street. The Great Move is an unlikely if bizarre reasoning that sees the shoppe rise to iconic status and untold wealth on the lowly Stooper’s Street.

Bound by the Family Contract, devised by Floretta and endorsed by her husband, their second son, Palmer the Younger, becomes the heir apparent to a burgeoning shoe empire, and thus inherits a life of luxury and wealth. Palmer the Younger has been dubbed the ‘brains of the operation’. On the other hand, the Family Contract also dictates that his older brother, Philbert Barnaby, be an invisible workforce destined to live in obscurity and abject poverty – the ‘rightful brawn’ of the shoe empire. It is no surprise then, that despite Palmer the Younger’s preternatural creative brilliance and Philbert’s otherworldly prestidigitation for ‘the gentle craft’, this disparity of fortunes leads ultimately to the sordid odyssey of an uneasy enterprise.

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