Tom Watson was a severely disturbed foster kid that no one wants at a mere age of five. He was taken into foster care after being removed from his mother's home when he was just one year old.
Sullen and seemingly devoid of emotion, Tom is a veteran of the foster care system, having already passed through twelve foster homes that have life him a wild, unmanageable child. He had been beaten down physically and emotionally over the years and learnt to rely only on himself.
A turning point came for him in 1966. The social worker who was working on Tom's case brought Tom to the doorstep of an elderly couple. He has been told to find the boy a home by the end of the week or Tom will have to be placed in a group home, which he is sure will doom the boy to a life of unachieved potential.
The Watsons took in this little boy and showed him love and grace. They loved him as one of their own. Things started to change, slowly but surely. After a few years of being with the Watsons, Tom slowly learnt how to socialise in school and was able to keep up at school. He learnt that he was loved and that God has a plan and purpose for his life.
His life, however, was not a simple happy ever after story. Tom had to go through a terrible period of losing his wife and of depression. He was planning his own suicide shortly after his wife passed away. Yet, as his foster sister said, God has a plan for his life.
Through it all, Tom became a better man and a stronger person. Man Shoes was a result of that journey. The writing of this book was a legacy exercise for his sons that turned into a therapeutic exercise for himself as well as for the many others who have read the book. By not telling the story chronologically, but instead by themes and lessons, Tom is telling every man's story or what could be every man's story.