The Girl with Glass Feet

The Girl with Glass Feet

by Ali Shaw
3.8 25

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Overview

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

WINNER OF THE DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda's Land. Magical 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 who has only visited the islands 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.

The Girl with Glass Feet is a love story to treasure, "crafted with elegance and swept by passionate magic and the yearning for connection. A rare pleasure" (Katherine Dunn, author of Geek Love).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312680459
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 01/04/2011
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 539,779
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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.

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The Girl with Glass Feet 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Trebble More than 1 year ago
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.
BonnieY More than 1 year ago
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.
Blodeuedd More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Magical Realism at it's best. Wonderful. If you like Alice Hoffman, you'll like this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Imaginstive
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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literatissima More than 1 year ago
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.
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Sandra Pradas More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written story about a strange and magical place, complete with unusual characters.... It kept my interest. I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
jprincess17 More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PennKC More than 1 year ago
a wonderfully inventive fairy tale, i couldn't put it down
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
awesome. weird. unexpected. don't look for a happy ending here.