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THE GIRL WITH GLASS FEET By: Ali Shaw April 27, 2010

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.

          The Lycan Librarian is always thrilled to stumble across a book she had not heard about, and find the discovery to be something she can enthusiastically recommend to others. THE GIRL WITH GLASS FEET is such a magical and carefully written work.

       This delightful and highly unusual novel is set on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St. Hauda’s Land, where Ida, a pale and beautiful mainlander who is painfully turning to glass,ventures to stay at her father’s cottage while he is away. Although it is difficult for her to get around on her glass chunks of feet, she knows the glass is spreading within her, so moves about as much as she can bear to while she is able. She meets  Midas, an odd, loner photographer, and as they spend time together, he discovers both her glass feet, and that their fathers were colleagues many years ago.  Most of the characters in the book suffered through unhappy marriages and best loved someone other than their spouse, but the ill-fated love story between Ida and Midas is the meat of the book.  Midas, who has not loved before, must watch Ida as the encroaching glass takes over her body and causes her death. The author found a way, however to make the very ending of the book absolutely beautiful and he leaves the reader with a sense of peace and satisfaction.

     I would also like to mention one other character, Henry, who had always loved Midas’ mother and raises herds of bull moths. They are not so named due to their size or protruding horns, but rather because they are itty bitty flying bulls. Ida meets Henry when, as he is rushing a bull moth that had been stung by a jellyfish to the clinic, he is run down in the street by a bicycle. Imaginative touches such as the bull moths makes one think this book should be labeled fantasy, but the characters and setting are so real and complete, that, despite these touches of whimsy, this story is of our world. So if you must fit it into a slot, it would more easily slide into a mainstream, or general fiction, spot.

     Although when starting the book, the reader finds themselves in a chilly and gloomy setting of little color, in a “sort of elephant’s graveyard for jellyfish”; a land which had been slobbered into being by a volcano, it is, nevertheless, a lovely and peaceful environment that, by the end of the book, one finds they do not want to leave.



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