Thursday, July 29, 2010

READING : The Girl With The Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean's depths...And Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass. A mysterious and frightening alchemical metamorphosis has befallen Ida Maclaird - she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure. Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defenses. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love...What they need most is time - and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass? 
I have contradicting feelings about The Girl With The Glass Feet.There were times when I absolutely loved it and times that I was sure I was not gonna be able to finish it.
Let me elaborate:

The book describes how a girl named Ida, is slowly turning into glass because of white monster that she saw in a bog(?? That's all I know,believe me!)and it somehow "cursed" her.Ida, meets Midas, a very shy and introverted guy-daddy issues-who falls in love with her and tries to save her.The other characters,besides Carl and Midas's father maybe, are not worth mentioning.If you are confused already, I don't think it gets any simpler!

Let's get one thing straight:this book was written brilliantly!Shaw's portraying of characters kind of reminded me of Stephen King's style, using each chapter for a different character, describing his/her most intimate thoughts and secrets,mostly about their lives and how they have come to be like this, in a very depressing and pessimistic way.

All this is of course great, but somewhere along the line it became quite tiring.You want to get to the story so much, and the book would not let you.Instead, it bombarded you with countless and very detailed descriptions of scenery and of stuff which was,in my opinion, completely irrelevant (moth-winged cattle??What was that all about??),that you constantly felt that the story is going nowhere and that you should probably put it back on your shelf.

And just when you thought this book is a lost cause, then came an amazing scene to completely change your perception about the whole thing.Especially  Midas's flashbacks with his father and Carl's scenes.Then again, you come to rethink some stuff in the end and you just shrug and go "meh".All in all, I believe that the magnificent writing got in the way of the story because maybe, it was too good for it after all.

One thing is certain:The Girl With The Glass Feet is a very difficult book to critique!If you are looking for a very fine and exceptional prose, look no further.If you're looking for an amazing story,I'm not so sure.

*edit:I just looooove the cover!


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  1. I just picked this one up from the library today! Skimmed your review because I don't want to ruin it! It think it sounds lovely...

  2. You can read the review, it's spoiler free :)


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