Monday, March 29, 2010
Ali Shaw's The Girl With Glass Feet ~ Reviewed
The Girl With Glass Feet
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1 edition (January 5, 2010)
Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around the icy bogland, albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods, and Ida Maclaird is slowly turning into glass. Ida is an outsider in these parts, a mainlander who has visited the islands only once before. Yet during that one fateful visit the glass transformation began to take hold, and now she has returned 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. Love must be paid in precious hours and, as the glass encroaches, time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass?
I'm surprised that I loved this book. Usually fantasy leaves me cold as stone because I struggle getting beyond the extremely foreign and sometimes bizarre details and often I don't connect with the characters because of that struggle. An omniscient point of view is my least favorite, too. Girl With Glass Feet is both fantasy and borderline omniscient. To overcome these issues the story must be amazing and the writing must be compelling. Girl With Glass Feet delivers on both.
Set on an island that is both magical and brutal, it is a story of loss and of love. A tragedy and a hope, life and death struggles with flashes of breathtaking beauty, and characters who ache with unresolved pain. Shaw's prose is artistic and he treats his characters with a respectful tenderness. I opened the book because of the unique premise but the pages turned because the story captured my heart.
Readers who don't like the pace of literary fiction may not love the wistful and meandering turns this book travels at times. Those who love romance and hate a tinge of tragedy probably won't love Girl With Glass Feet. If you can't do F-bombs, there are enough that you may struggle with the read. But character collectors and lovers of whimsy and poignancy should consider giving it a read.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
Weird. Generally depressing. A little creepy. So why did I give this 4 stars? The writing is incredible. Ali Shaw's prose is crazy good. The story didn't do so much for me, but the turn of phrases, the descriptions, the amazing bits of poetic combinations of words make this one inspiring read - either that or you'll quit your own writing for feeling inadequate.
Reviewed by: Michelle Griep