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The Girl with Glass Feet

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Overview

An inventive and richly visual novel about young lovers on a quest to find a cure for a magical ailment, perfect for readers of Alice Hoffman

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....

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The Girl with Glass Feet: A Novel

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Overview

An inventive and richly visual novel about young lovers on a quest to find a cure for a magical ailment, perfect for readers of Alice Hoffman

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?

The Girl with Glass Feet is a dazzlingly imaginative and magical first novel, a love story to treasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Robin Romm
The hybrid form of the book—fairy tale, myth, psychological realism and fantasy—impresses. But Shaw's most delightful offerings are the vivid details he provides to make the magical real…The end of the book, saturated with color and emotion, is risky and brave like the message it imparts. Only a heart of glass would be unmoved.
—The New York Times
Elizabeth Hand
The Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg has traced myriad examples of mutilated feet across centuries and cultures, from ancient Greece to ancient China. He believes the motif represents an archetype of what he calls "mythical and ritualistic lameness." The British novelist Ali Shaw has created a memorable addition to this fabulist pantheon in his gorgeous first novel…Shaw acknowledges the influence of writers like Andersen, Kafka and Borges (Shaw's menagerie of perfectly detailed, marvelous creatures could have stepped from the pages of The Book of Imaginary Beings). But it's Andersen's melancholy tales, steeped in loss and a brooding sense of fatedness, that shimmer around the edges of The Girl With Glass Feet.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The cold northern islands of St. Hauda's Land are home to strange creatures and intertwining human secrets in Shaw's earnest, magic-tinged debut. Ida Maclaird returns to the archipelago to find a cure for the condition her last visit brought her—she is slowly turning into glass. The landscape is at once beautiful and ominous, and its residents mistrustful, but she grows close to Midas Crook, a young man who, despite his intention to spend his life alone, falls in love with Ida and becomes desperate to save her. Their quest leads them to Henry Fuwa, a hermit biologist devoted to preserving the moth-winged bull, a species of insect-sized winged bovines; to Carl Mausen, a friend of Ida's family whose devotion to her mother makes him both ally and enemy; and finally to Emiliana Stallows, who claims to have once cured a girl with Ida's affliction. Each of these characters' histories intertwine, though their motivations surrounding Ida are muddled by their loyalties. Both love story and dirge, Shaw's novel flows gracefully and is wonderfully dreamlike, with the danger of the islands matched by the characters' dark pasts. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Ida Maclaird is turning to glass from her feet up, one painful shard at a time. She has returned to St. Hauda's Land, a remote group of islands that hosts such oddities as tiny moth/cow hybrids, searching for answers. There she meets the reclusive Midas Crook, who prefers to experience life through his camera lens. As Ida becomes more enmeshed in Midas's life, we learn that the cold and desolate landscape has long been host to failed love affairs and tragic lives. Can Ida be saved? Or any of the other dismal characters? This debut from former bookseller and Bodleian Library worker Shaw features some inspired prose and haunting imagery. Still, the bleak tone and unrelenting tales of woe will weigh heavily on most readers, though those with a neo-gothic bent or a fondness for the darker offerings of authors like Charles de Lint and John Crowley may be drawn to Shaw's work. VERDICT Optional reading as we wait to see if any buzz follows this one over the Atlantic (it's been long-listed for the 2009 Guardian First Book Award). [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/09.]—Jenn B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll.-Northeast\
Kirkus Reviews
Emotional entanglements on a faraway frozen island are shaped by romance and tragedy in a melancholic yet whimsical British debut. Albino crows, ice, gray vistas and an animal that can turn living things white all accentuate the monochrome palette Shaw uses to paint his imaginary landscape, the snowy archipelago of St. Hauda's Land, and to characterize the people who live there-fragile, isolated or abandoned. Ida Maclaird, slowly turning to glass from the feet up, has returned to St. Hauda's to find Henry Fuwa, a scientist she believes can help with her strange condition. While on the island, she's living in the cottage of Carl Maulsen, who loved but lost Ida's mother. A clandestine love affair also shadowed the parents of Midas Crook, whose mother was Henry's lover. Shy, inexperienced Midas is trying to live a life completely unlike that of his suicidal father, and when he meets Ida he slowly opens up to his feelings for her. Together they visit Henry, whose weird science includes a less-than-encouraging evaluation of Ida's ailment: It's both fast-moving and incurable. Although kept apart by Carl and various plot delays, Ida and Midas eventually become lovers, but little time remains, and both must confront their deepest fears as Shaw winds his tale toward a magical final scene and a more prosaic epilogue. At its best, this strikingly visual novel shrugs off self-consciousness and a sense of strain to become captivatingly ethereal.
From the Publisher
"Fantastically imagined.... The hybrid form of the book—fairy tale, myth, psychological realism and fantasy—impresses. But Shaw’s most delightful offerings are the vivid details he provides to make the magical real.... As Ida turns to glass, Midas must continue his own transformation, from hardened to human. The end of the book, saturated with color and emotion, is risky and brave like the message it imparts. Only a heart of glass would be unmoved."—Robin Romm, New York Times Book Review

"Ali Shaw has created a memorable addition to [the] fabulist pantheon in his gorgeous first novel, The Girl with Glass Feet.... Over the course of this eerie, bewitching novel, the mixture of love and grief and the imminence of death become as memorable as Ida’s mysterious, dreadful transformation and Midas’s more achingly human one ... Shaw acknowledges the influence of writers like Andersen, Kafka and Borges (Shaw's menagerie of perfectly detailed, marvelous creatures could have stepped from the pages of "The Book of Imaginary Beings"). But it’s Andersen’s melancholy tales, steeped in loss and a brooding sense of fatedness, that shimmer around the edges of The Girl with Glass Feet. Every character in this novel yearns for a love that seems just out of reach: Midas's unhappy parents; Henry Fuwa; Carl Maulsen, who loved Ida's mother; Emiliana, the island woman who might have a cure for Ida's illness; Ida herself—all of them are bound by threads of betrayal and desire and hope, until Fate cuts those threads, calmly and without remorse."—Elizabeth Hand, Washington Post

"The Girl with Glass Feet is a love story, not just about two people falling in love, but also about love itself: its power, its limits, and its consequences.... Although Shaw’s novel is set in the present, everything’s turned askew, resulting in a world that is at once banal—the car won’t start; the coffee’s getting cold—and fantastical—glass feet; glass hearts. Shaw makes the crucial decision to leave the human emotions and relationships in the realm of the believable, while embedding them in terrain that is ever so slightly surreal. Somehow it’s never implausible. Shaw is at his best when describing the fantastical world he’s created. His language manages to be poetic and economical.... The look, the sound, and the scent of St. Hauda’s Land stay with you after turning the last page of this beautiful novel."—Buzzy Jackson, The Boston Globe

 

"Ali Shaw’s engrossing and moving debut novel ... is a story of a strange land and its strange inhabitants, but at heart it’s a sincere but unsentimental love story.... The joy that Ida and Midas share, after Midas takes those first risky steps toward love, is so beautifully captured that their happiness beats back the drear and shadows.... The dreamy atmosphere curls around you until you see, hear and smell the moors and bogs.... The ending bridges the gap between fairy tales old and new."—Lisa McLendon, Wichita Eagle

"Ali Shaw shows immense promise with his deft use of language, which sings in a book that is at its heart filled with sadness. The soft light on the island plays coyly with the thick vegetation, casting glorious shadows and producing a riot of images all ably captured by Midas’ camera and Shaw’s prose."—Vikram Johri, The Chicago Sun-Times

"Ali Shaw has a gift for storytelling and an obvious love of language. His descriptions are poetic and original.... The Girl With Glass Feet is a work of great imagination and talent. Mr. Shaw never tells us what causes the glassification, but that leaves the reader open to decide whether the tale is merely a modern fairy tale, or whether turning into glass is in itself a metaphor for a larger, human condition that creates change bringing moments of pain and pleasure."—Corinna Lothar, The Washington Times

"The cold northern islands of St. Hauda’s Land are home to strange creatures and intertwining human secrets in Shaw’s earnest, magic-tinged debut.... Both love story and dirge, Shaw’s novel flows gracefully and is wonderfully dreamlike, with the danger of the islands matched by the characters’ dark pasts."—Publishers Weekly

 

"Ali Shaw offers the rare delight of a world freshly and richly imagined.... The story is soothingly spellbinding, pulling the reader with steady delicacy into the hearts and minds of its characters amid the enthralling murmur of the fantastical."—Ariel Berg, The San Francisco Book Review

 

“On the surface, the book is magical, seemingly as transparent as Ida's toes. Like all the best fairy tales, though, it's tinted with a pervading sense of unease that sticks with the reader long after the cover is closed. Midas's love for a woman who is leaving the real world he despises, Ida's lost grip on humanity, the very land on which they meet, are all deeper and darker than they seem, making this a book well worth reading.”—BookSlut.com

 

"This lovely fable is a chain of linked mysteries with accelerating suspense that propels the reader deep into Shaw’s world of marvels. That world is crafted with elegance and swept by passionate magic and the yearning for connection. A rare pleasure."—Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love

"Written in the tradition of magical realists like Haruki Murakami and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Girl with Glass Feet is a singular, slippery narrative that defies easy categorization. Shaw writes finely honed prose and knows how to wring maximum suspense out of a tightly woven plot. His is an accomplished first novel—a hypnotic book with an atmosphere all its own."—Julie Hale, Bookpage

"Emotional entanglements on a faraway frozen island are shaped by romance and tragedy in a melancholic yet whimsical British debut.... [A] strikingly visual novel.... captivatingly ethereal."—Kirkus Reviews

"Shaw has worked the great tradition of European fairy tales and come up with an ingenious story ... A magical fable of fate and resignation."—The Guardian (UK)

 

"The Girl with Glass Feet is not just special—it’s remarkable.... [This] debut novel conjures up the extraordinary and fantastic, yet places it firmly in our digital world.... It’s a very visual novel—readers who enjoy using their imagination will adore it."—Helen Peacock, The Oxford Times (UK)

"A haunting and magical tale.... One of the most original and memorable love stories I’ve read in a long time.... It takes a real talent to create such an imaginative setting yet still make readers believe and care about the characters, but first-time novelist Ali Shaw pulls it off in dazzling style, spinning an unforgettable story so vividly described that the reader is only too willing to suspend disbelief in order to be transported into his sad and lovely world."—Morag Lindsay, Aberdeen Press and Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312680459
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 1/4/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 785,035
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ali Shaw graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English literature and has since worked as a bookseller and at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. The Girl with Glass Feet is his first novel. Please visit his Web site at www.alishaw.co.uk.

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Read an Excerpt

The Girl with Glass Feet

A Novel
By Shaw, Ali

Henry Holt and Co.

Copyright © 2010 Shaw, Ali
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780805091144

• ONE •

That winter there were reports in the newspaper of an iceberg the shape of a galleon floating in creaking majesty past St. Hauda’s Land’s cliffs, of a snuffling hog leading lost hill walkers out of the crags beneath Lomdendol Tor, of a dumbfounded ornithologist counting five albino crows in a flock of two hundred. But Midas Crook did not read the newspaper; he only looked at the photographs.

That winter Midas had seen photos everywhere. They haunted the woods and lurked at the ends of deserted streets. They were of such multitude that while lining up a shot at one, a second would cross his aim and, tracking that, he’d catch a third in his sights.

One day in mid-December he chased the photos to a part of the woods near Ettinsford. It was a darkening afternoon whose final shafts of light passed between trees, swung across the earth like searchlights. He left the path to follow such a beam. Twigs crunched beneath his shoes. A bleating bird skipped away over leaves. Branches swayed and clacked against each other overhead, snipping through the roving beam. He kept up his close pursuit, treading through its trail of shadows.

His father had once told him a legend: lone travelers on overgrown paths would glimpse a humanoid glow that ghosted betweentrees or swam in a still lake. And something, some impulse from the guts, would make the traveler lurch off the path in pursuit, into the mazy trees or deep water. When they pinned it down it would take shape. Sometimes it would form a flower of phosphorescent petals. Sometimes it drew a bird of sparks whose tail feathers fizzed embers. Sometimes it became like a person and they’d think they saw, under a nimbus like a veil, the features of a loved one long lost. Always the light grew steadily brighter until—in a fl ash—they’d be blinded. Midas’s father hadn’t needed to elaborate on what happened to them after that. Lost and alone in the cold of the woods.

It was nonsense, of course, like everything his father had said. But light was magic, making the dull earth vivid. A shaft of it hung against a tree trunk, bleaching the cracked bark yellow. Enticed, Midas crept towards it and captured it on camera before it sank back into the loam. A quick glance at his display screen promised a fine picture, but he was greedy for more. Another shaft lit briars and holly ahead. It made the berries sharply red, the leaves poisonously green. He shot it, and harried another that drifted ahead through the undergrowth. It gathered pace while Midas tripped on roots and snagged his ankles on strands of thorns. He chased it all the way to the fringe of the wood, and followed it into the open, where the scrubland sloped down and away from him towards a river. Crows wheeled in a sky of oily rags. Hidden water gurgled nearby, welling into a dark pool at the bottom of the slope. Above the pool, the ray of light dangled like a golden ribbon. He charged down the slope to catch it, feet skidding on mushy soil and sharp air driving into his lungs as he stumbled the last distance down to the banks. A sheet of lacy ice covered the water and prevented reflections, so all he could see in the pool was darkness. The ray had vanished. The clouds had coalesced too fast. He was panting, hanging his head and resting with hands on knees. His breath hung in the air.

"Are you okay?"

He spun around and felt his foot skid on a clot of soil. He fell forward and stumbled up again with filthy hands and cold muddy patches on his knees. A girl sat neatly on a fl at rock. Somehow he’d not seen her. She looked like she’d stepped through the screen of a 1950s movie. Her skin and blond hair were such pale shades they looked monochrome. Her long coat was tied at the waist by a fabric belt. She was probably a few years younger than him, in her early twenties, wearing a white hat with matching gloves.

"Sorry," she said, "if I surprised you."

Her irises were titanium gray, her most striking feature. Her lips were an afterthought and her cheekbones flat. But her eyes . . . He realized he was staring into them and quickly looked away.

He turned to the pond in hope of the light. On the other side of the water was a field marked out by a stringy barbed- wire fence. A shaggy gray ram stood there, horns like ammonites, staring into space. Past that the woods began again, with no sign of a farmhouse attached to the ram’s field. Nor was there any sign of the light.

"Are you sure you’re okay? Have you lost something?"

"Light."

He turned back to her, wondering if she might have seen it. It was on the rock beside her, beamed through a hole in the clouds.

"Shh!" He spent half a second aiming, then took the shot.

"What are you doing?"

He scrutinized the image on the camera’s screen. A fine photo, all told. The girl’s half of the stone steeped in a tree’s forked shadow, the other half turned to a hunk of glowing amber. But wait . . . On closer examination he had made a mess of the composition, cropping the ends of her boots. He bent closer to the screen. No wonder he had made the mistake, for the girl’s feet sat neatly together in a pair of large boots many sizes too big for her. They were covered in laces and buckles like straightjackets. A walking stick lay across her lap.

"I’m still here, you know."

He looked up, startled.

"And I asked you what you were doing."

"What?"

"Are you a photographer?"

"Yes."

"You’re a professional?"

"No."

"Amateur?"

He frowned.

"You’re an unemployed photographer?"

He waved his hands in vague directions. This complicated question often worried him. What other people could not realize was that photography wasn’t a job, a hobby or an obsession, it was simply as fundamental to his interpretation of the world as the effect of light diving in his retinas.

"I cope," he mumbled, "with photography."

She raised an eyebrow. "It’s rude to photograph people without their consent. Not everyone enjoys the experience."

The ram grunted in its field.

She carried on. "Anyway, may I see it? The photograph you took of me."

Midas timidly held out the camera, tilting it slightly towards her.

"Actually," he explained, "um, it’s not a photo of you. If it were I’d have framed it differently. I wouldn’t have cropped the tip of your, erm, boot. And I’d have asked permission."

"Then what’s it a photograph of?"

He shrugged. "You could say it was the light."

"Can I take a closer look?"

Before he’d had a chance to figure out how to word a sentence to say no, not really, not quite, he wasn’t that comfortable with other people handling his camera, she reached up and took it. The carry strap, still slung around his neck, forced him to step unbearably close to her. He winced and waited, leaning backwards uncomfortably, to keep as much of himself as far as he could from her. His eyes drifted back to her boots.

They weren’t just big. They were enormous on a girl so thin. They reached almost up to her knees.

"God, I look awful. So shadowy." She sighed and let the camera go. Midas straightened up and took a relieved step backwards, still staring at her boots.

"They were my dad’s. He was a policeman. They’re made for plodding."

"Oh. Ah . . ."

"Here." She opened her handbag and took out her wallet, finding inside a dog-eared piece of photograph showing her in denim shorts, yellow T-shirt and sunglasses. She stood on a beach Midas recognized.

"That’s Shalhem Bay," he said, "near Gurmton."

"Last summer. The last time I came to St. Hauda’s Land."

She offered h

Continues...


Excerpted from The Girl with Glass Feet by Shaw, Ali Copyright © 2010 by Shaw, Ali. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

The following author biography and list of questions about The Girl with Glass Feet are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach The Girl with Glass Feet.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(2)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Dark Romance Novel

    The description made me think that it was some sort of magical voyage between two people finding a way to each other with Ida's unusual condition as the catalyst. Instead it is a very strange and dark love story between Ida and Midas and the people in their lives. Usually these types of book I find hard to get lost within the pages. That was not the case in this story. It was captivating from the first chapter.


    In the story, many of the characters surrounding the couple who often also have a chapter with their own POV, are looking for some sort of redemption for a wrong turn they took in their lives. It was not that way with Ida and Midas. They were finding a way to wake themselves up to the world and those close around them. To have the courage to make their own mistakes. Although the characters were slow to wake up to taking chances with each other, it was still interesting to see how both characters change toward one another. It was frustrating especially because time was not on their side with Ida's condition getting worse. I did see Ida's condition as a metaphor for a terminal illness. If you consider it, what better metaphor than glass? It is something that alters her body, makes it non-functional and when people see the "glass" it is as if they look right through you.


    I did have a hard time deciding if I would give this book 3 1/2 stars or if I would give it a full 4 stars. My main objection is my own and had nothing to do with the writing itself. And by throwing out my personal preference, I'd have to say it was too well written for me to take it down slightly. Therefore, I give it 4 stars and recommend this book for people who want a dark, strange and lyrical type of romance story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 9, 2013

    There is a street musician in New York City, who plays a hand sa

    There is a street musician in New York City, who plays a hand saw with a violin bow. That music, to me, is the audio equivalent of this book: haunting and eerie. There's a sense of otherworldliness, and yet a strange sort of beauty exists as well.
    Not the sort of book I immediately reach for, but an enjoyable read once I settled in.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Beautiful and strange tale

    I honestly do not know where to start. How do I explain a book like this, how can I get you all to see the magic in it?


    It is a strange tale about a girl, Ida who returns to St Hauda's Land in search for answers. Her feet are turning into glass, yes glass. She does not know why but she remembers a man who had mentioned glass bodies in the bog. Could he hold the answer? Here she meets Midas, a strange young man who loves to take photos, and they fall in love, slowly, awkward, but in love.


    Perhaps you now see the strangeness in this book. Her body is slowly being transformed into glass, and when it finishes, well no one can live in a body of glass. These islands are a strange place. There is talk about a strange animal with white eyes, and this whole place seems to ooze strangeness. Like it is some kind of distant land far far away where these strange things can still exist, hidden away from the rest of the world. And the people here have grown used to them. Used to finding strange things like moth-winged cows.


    It was a great story, hauntingly beautiful and sad. I felt like I was there, on this damp, cold island. The language took hold of this feeling and made me stay. It is not a happy story, there is coldness creeping in the edges of this book and there are a lot of unhappy people in it. Still it felt magical.


    The story is not just a story, it jumps in time. We get to see Midas' dad, who wasn't a nice man, and who shaped who Midas is now. We also get to see Ida's past, and she hadn't a nice dad either. Their mothers seemed frail. And then there is the longing, both had mothers who others longed for. Lost passions, with more sad flashbacks. To understand the now, you have to understand the past.


    I shall not forget the lovestory. Midas meets Ida, they see something in each other. The slowly move towards each other, and they seem so perfect for each other. But the clock is ticking, not only to find a cure, but for them to finally do something.


    I liked Ida, I would not have been as brave as she was, to see my feet turn to glass would surely have driven me insane. And I had to love Midas, he was strange, but so lovable. I could picture him before me.


    This is Shaw's first novel, and if he continues in this style then I am sure we will hear much more about him.


    If I sum it up, it is like a strange fairytale, the girl with glass feet, and the awkward prince she meets.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2014

    Lovely

    Imaginstive

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2012

    Dont get me started

    for one i felt like all of this thoughts clashed...ideas that made no sense to the story like the moth wing bulls and the animal that turned objects to white and henry?? I thought they would of tied in somewhere or maybe help the cure? These parts shouldnt of been in the book..most writters have a flow to their stories and i didnt see a good.comsistant until the middle of the book. The ending was the worst, of course he had to give up your hopes for the poor girl..it was an all around stupid book..im glad i only purchased mine for a dollar..sorry but what a joke

    Good things to say well he had and intresting way of describing things, like i said the middle was good.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Vivid, Magical

    The Girl With The Glass Feet is a beautifully-written tale reminiscent of the darker Grimms Bros. fairy tales. I was transported to a vivid setting, with colors, textures, life and death woven together, painting magical images that linger in my mind. There are questions that are never answered, but I am left with an array of mental photographs to consider, and I enjoy the mental stimulation. If you are the type of person who likes everything tied up with a neat little bow and who doesn't appreciate magical realism, you may want to skip it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2011

    Strange, Charming Tale

    A beautifully written story about a strange and magical place, complete with unusual characters.... It kept my interest. I couldn't put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful

    Extremely interesting and different, easy to get lost in idas and midas' story, did not end how I expected but a great read and I would recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2010

    beautiful, wonderful and a page turner

    I highly, highly recommend this book. It was beautifully written, with great characters and a setting that transports the reader. You won't be able to put it down. It is a wonderful and unique love story which is a bit like a fairy tale but without being totally out there in fantasy land. It was seriously great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2010

    girl with the glass feet

    awesome. weird. unexpected. don't look for a happy ending here.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    GREAT STORY!

    a wonderfully inventive fairy tale, i couldn't put it down

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  • Posted December 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    interesting parable fantasy

    Ida Maclaird seeks a cure to stop her slow debilitating ailment; she is turning into glass starting with her feet, but slowly spreading up her body. The young woman feels she caught her illness on the St. Hauda's Land archipelago; so has returned to these remote northern islands seeking the cure before it is too late.

    Before he met Ida , Midas Crook had no plans to ever marry, but he falls in love. He joins her quest to find the cure to her plight. They turn to biologist Henry Fuwa, who prefers saving the endangered insect like moth-winged bull rather than a human, but also offers hope as he insist he can help her followed up with despair saying she will turn totally to glass. Carl Mausen, a friend to Ida's family, wants to help her as if she is his daughter and offers her his cottage as a temporary home, but his fidelity is to her mother who he loved and lost. Finally Emiliana Stallows is rumored to have cured a previous girl with glass feet.

    This is an interesting parable fantasy that focuses on the fleeting fragile nature of relationships that can easily shatter as each person has major issues relating to others. The glum tone permeates the story line as relationships that were once warm turn icy leaving the audience to wonder if Ida and Midas are doomed even if she is cured. Although too many back stories re secondary characters are included even as their tales add to the atmosphere of pending gloom, fans will enjoy touring the islands of despair as Ida and Midas cling to love as their hope deteriorates along with her condition.

    Harriet Klausner

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    Posted March 8, 2011

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