Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes

Sisterchicks Series #8

Christian - Fiction
288 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2009
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Summer Finley and Noelle Van Zandt have been pen-pals since the fourth grade.  They are as close as two sisters only they've never met face-to-face.  When Summer receives an "abnormal" medical test result she decides to make the trek to the Netherlands to see her life-long friend.

During their week-long adventure together they visit Corrie ten Boom's Hiding Place, museums, fields of tulips, and they even find themselves floating down the canal in a large wooden shoe.  Everyday, their experiences bring them closer to God and the peace he offers them.  Their being together has changed both of them in ways they never expected.

This was a wonderful book!  I enjoyed the characters.  Robin Jones Gunn did a wonderful job telling the story of these two women.  They could be anyone of us.  I felt like I was right there with them on their sightseeing tours.  She conveyed to us a wonderful message of God's love and how we need to let Him have control over our lives.  This is a wonderful, heartwarming Christian novel.

Terra Hangen

This novel invites the reader to join a high spirited romp when 2 penpals meet, after decades apart. Summer gets some frightening health news and flies to Holland to spend time with her penpal, Noelle, who is dealing with a sadness of her own.
I promise you will smile as you read about their misadventures, including when they are on a runaway yellow wooden shoe boat in Amsterdam's canals.
Summer shares some words of wisdom, as she appreciates their adventures, and takes Noelle to visit Corrie Ten Boom's home, where Corrie's family saved 800 people from the Nazis, and when Corrie survived concentration camp she wrote her wonderful book "The Hiding Place."
The tulips glow with color painted by the author's words, and I want to drink real Dutch hot chocolate, enjoy genuine gouda, and have lots of adventures in Holland.

Delia Latham


The moment Summer Finley hears that word in connection with medical tests, her world changes. Having seen "abnormal" results finally take her mother's life, she finds herself emotionally unable to face the possibilities innate in the ugly term. Her reaction is to make an uncharacteristically spur-of-the-moment trip to the Netherlands. She'll deal with the interminable period of waiting for biopsy results after this long-anticipated trip. Never having met her pen pal and best friend since fourth grade, Noelle Van Zandt, Summer determines to wait no longer.

She arranges for one week with this friend she knows so well, yet not at all. Summer and Noelle make the most of every moment. In the process, they learn a lot about one another ... and perhaps even more about themselves.

A field of tulips, a cup of rich Dutch cocoa, a wooden-shoe boat on an Amsterdam canal, a tour through Corrie ten Boom's Hiding Place, a visit to a unique farmhouse full of special women ... each visit, every experience opens Summer's heart and mind to a greater trust and faith in God. Noelle, too, confronts painful ghosts from her past and learns valuable lessons in release and forgiveness.

By the time Summer returns home to face her future, both she and her life-long friend have a new understanding of their heavenly Father's grace and love--and a deeper, closer relationship with each other. With God's ever-perfect timing, He brings these sisterchicks together at a time when they need each other most.

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes is a fun, touching, sometimes poignant look at learning to let go and let God. Robin Jones Gunn, with typical excellence, includes humor and angst, history and progress, love and the things that test it. Dotted with wonderful geographical and historical detail, it's a beautiful snapshot of friendship--what it means to be a friend, and what it means to have one.

An unforgettable, undeniable, absolutely perfect Dutch treat!

Lori Kasbeer

Come along and travel with Summer from Cincinnati to Amsterdam. Summer is married and is the mother of six kids. After hearing some unsettling news Summer decides on the spur of the moment, to book a trip to Amsterdam to visit her lifelong pen pal Noelle. I have to say I don't suggest booking a flight on a credit card before talking to your husband in real life, but Summer does something many of us put off in life; living out a dream.

Once Summer arrives in Amsterdam, she and Noelle hit the ground running sightseeing. From visiting a field of tulips to seeing a real windmill the imagery of Amsterdam danced off the pages. Noelle had one surprise sight for Summer to visit that led Summer out of her comfort zone, while reminding her that everything is possible through Christ.

Summer and Noelle visit Corrie ten Boom's place and reminds readers of the unshakable love for God Corrie possessed. You felt like you were walking on sacred ground along with Summer and Noelle. Summer booked this visit in hopes of forgetting what may be waiting for her at home, what neither one of them counted on, is this trip healing some old wounds in each of their lives.

I enjoyed this book. Robin Jones Gunn writes great "escape books." This is the perfect book to take on vacation with you. Some of the details of how things come about are a bit unrealistic within the story, but Robin Jones Gunn has a way of catching readers off guard and driving home a powerful God lesson.

M. K. Hoelscher

This is another thoroughly enjoyable Sisterchicks books from Gunn. Anyone who is already a fan will want to pick this one up,.Anyone who hasn't had the privilege of reading a Sisterchick novel should do so at the first opportunity! These are wonderful stories of faith and friendship and travel that take you to places all over the world for adventures. The stories are usually fairly light and breezy and full of lots of sights, sounds, food and language from the places they travel to, in this case the Netherlands. I've always enjoyed how Gunn incorporates a lot of the culture of the particular country into the story. As always when I read a Sisterchicks book, I just want to call all my friends and go on a road trip of our own! I'd heartily recommend that if you haven't read any of this series to grab this one and get started - and soon you'll feel as if you've traveled the world with some of your best friends!


I've never been in the position that Summer was placed in. Hearing that you have an abnormal test result is probably a very scary situation. I would imagine that all the things you've never done seems to spread themselves out like a list of life's failures. But for Summer that seemed to be just what she needed.

The writing wasn't great but the characters, while a bit two-dimensional, were very real to me. The spiritual and introspective thoughts that Summer has were also very real. It is also very apparent the Robin Jones Gunn put a lot of research into the book. The places that Summer and Noelle visit are real places with real stories.

Through all of the inner turmoil Summer faces she's able to keep her head held high and just enjoy her visit. The humorous stories enter at just the right time, keeping what could have been a very serious and emotional story very light-hearted. This made the story touching and at the same time easy to read. I personally find most stories about a serious subject, such as serious illness, very hard to read emotionally. They just seem to drain me, and while the stories may be good they take a lot out of me. This story deals with a very serious topic in a way that makes it enjoyable. The story isn't so much about what Summer is going through, but rather it's just about her living her life and enjoying herself.

Overall it was a pretty good book. A bit of chick-lit mixed with a story of spirituality. It was a very fast read. It also made me want to read more of the Sisterchicks novels.

Connie Y. Mishali

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes! by Robin Jones Gunn is a sweet story of friendship and spiritual introspection.

The main character, Summer, finds out her mammogram was "abnormal" and she needs a biopsy. She decides to enter a "week of denial" and put off the biopsy in favor of a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Netherlands to meet her best friend and pen pal since elementary school, Noelle.

Summer and Noelle have a wonderful time building their friendship face to face for the first time as they explore the Netherlands. In the process, they both find themselves exploring their hearts regarding unresolved spiritual issues as Noelle sees things in Summer that Summer has not recognized in herself, and vice versa. Every woman needs a friend with whom she can bear her soul - and who can speak the truth to her in return; such a friendship is a restorative gift of God.

The women's friendship is beautiful, as is the countryside of the Netherlands. Robin Jones Gunn does an amazing job of describing sights, sounds, culture and food of the Netherlands - you'll feel as if you've gone there yourself!

Keleigh Crigler

Why deal with stranded flights, overcrowded airports and lost luggage when you can visit the Netherlands and never leave your comfy La-Z-Boy?

I loved Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes! I felt like I could smell the tulips and fresh strudel because Gunn's writing is so detailed and paints a vivid picture.

The plot is satisfying and realistic with characters that gave me a sense of deja vu because I felt like I really knew them.

All in all, a great read.