Claire Blackwell, a housewife residing in San Diego, jostles through the daily tasks associated with being a housewife and mother. She cooks, cleans, drives her kids to school, and manages other day-to-day affairs and frustrations. Unfortunately, Claire gets caught in a car accident one rainy day and passes away due to her injuries. What seems like the end of Claire's life, ironically, marks the beginning of a new one. Claire finds herself reincarnated in a phantom-like form; she can hear and observe but cannot touch or feel objects, nor can she instantly transport herself to someplace else. Her life now becomes a tale of sorrow, comedy, and surprise as she watches her family, like a guardian angel, live through different phases of their lives, dealing with difficulties such as coping with Claire’s death. Her husband attempting to cook a frozen turkey is just one of the many moments that highlight just how much Claire’s family needs her. This new existence of Claire allows her to gain insight into an aspect of her children's life that she never even knew existed —which is the story of almost every parent. Even though she does not magically come to life, she redefines what it means to be a family.
Shoes on the Stairs is a supernatural comedy-drama that symbolizes a mother's care for her family from beyond the grave. It is a beautifully written yarn that is littered with emotionally rich moments, exploring the threads that hold a family together, threads that are, at times, very fragile. The combination of a gut-wrenching plot laced with humor and realistic characters is something that is hard to pull off, but the writer does an incredible in achieving it. This is a tale for readers who enjoy a family drama with strong shades of the paranormal. Jan Steele writes boldly, evoking moments that readers can relate to and infusing the narrative with unwonted realism. Shoes on the Stairs is filled with captivating moments that melt the held and the pathos that reminds readers of the humanity of the characters.