Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill you

By: Donna Decker

“Hate could pick up a weapon and back its enemy to death when and where it wanted.”

Trigger Warning – Campus shooting, Rape

Meet Marin, Deirdre, and Jenean, three different women, in three different places, all effected by the state of the world by which they are surrounded. The year is 1989 in Canada, and men do not like women moving in on their jobs and women wanting to be equal to men. We follow these women’s lives in univerity and at work up until December 6, 1989 when the Montreal Massacre occurs, resulting in their lives being forever changed.

The Montreal Massacre is real. On December 6, 1989, a lone gunmen went to a univerity and killed 14 women because he hated feminists, before he killed himself. I thought this book was going to be a historical fiction book around the lives of these three women and the aftermath of the massacre. And it was to an extent. I thought the focus would be the massacre and the aftermath, but the first half of this book really hones in on the atmosphere of the time, the feminist movement, and how men reacted to this movement. Personally, I thought there was too much of “before” for me.

The second half of the book was absolutely gut wrenching. While the girls were fictional, the event wasn’t. The author lets us know afterward that she spoke with family members of those that were murdered, and I could just imagine the pain and sadness they felt. On top of that, there were still men who didn’t get it. One of the things I think the author handled beautifully was that she had a male reporter write an article standing with the women, and everything that was written in this article was heartwarming in a way. It shows women that some men are on their side.

There was a bunch of comments made within the novel about it being a time of mourning and not a time to talk about why the massacre happened. I don’t know if this REALLY happened or not, but it certainly happens today. This book was written in 2015, after some very deadly massacres in the U.S., and even today, in 2022, after a massacre, people scream “This isn’t the time to talk about…” insert topic.

While the book was a bit boring for me in the beginning, I overall thought it was a good book. If you’d like to read it, you can get your copy here.


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