Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Girl with Glass Feet

The Girl with Glass Feet defies definition really. It's part love story, part fairy tale, part magical mystery. But it doesn't really matter what it is, it was lovely. That really is the best way I can describe it. As is obvious from the blurb, Ida MacLaird is turning to glass from the feet upwards, and as we start the story she has returned to the strange St Hauda's Land to try and find out why this is happening, and if it can be cured. But the search for a cure was almost a subsidiary part of the story. Much more focus was given to the blossoming love between Ida and Midas, one of the residents of the island, who is one of the first people Ida meets. When Ida meets Midas, she is actually looking for Henry Fuwa, the man she met the first time she visited the island, and who first suggested to her that these islands were not all they seemed.

Midas is a very reserved, shy, emotionally closed off man, not at all the sort of person the usually vivacious Ida would be attracted to. His only real friends on the Island are Gustav and his daughter Denver, but he is captivated by her and her feet, and makes it his mission to rescue her, slowly falling in love with her. Whilst the story of Ida and Midas is gently progressing, Ida is not so gently turning to glass, and we meet other strange characters. We also learn about Midas's family history, his turbulent relationship with his parents, his father's suicide and his mother's affair. As well as Ida's history, her dead mother and her distant father. It is a sad book, and everyone's relationships seem to end with either infidelity or death. There is desperation on so many levels on this island.The sadness and loneliness of most of the characters is ever-present throughout the story, and adds a real melancholy feel. But then all of the characters suffer from some kind of impediment to their happiness, whether it's physical or emotional. All seemingly caused by influences of the island itself.

The thing that struck me most about this was the island. Apart from the fact that it is Northern, we don't know where it's set, but although it seems at first like our world, slight things make it seem very different. Moth winged miniature cows, for example. And a creature that turns everything it looks at white. And the obvious one, people turning to glass, as Ida is not the only person to suffer from this affliction. It sounds like such a fantastical story, and I suppose it is, but it never seemed that way whilst I was reading it. I think that the way the characters respond to the unusual happenings on the Island has a lot to do with that. They never really question, or express any kind of incredulity that these things could happen, so whilst although these things are shocking, I was so absorbed in the world of the book, that I didn't really question it either. I love this very slight difference between our reality and the book's reality.

As to why I liked this book,it's difficult to say. I got absorbed totally into the world, and I think that this is why I am struggling to write about this book. This is just a mesh of incoherent thoughts, but it doesn't distract from the quality of the book. I loved it, and got totally lost in the world. I think I probably missed a great deal, but sometimes I think I'm okay with that. For now, I'm just happy to have been totally wrapped up in something I wasn't sure I would like. I might re-read it at some point, to clarify my thoughts a bit. I'm sure I would enjoy reading it again.

1 comment:

santhi priya said...

A truly motivational and life changing book
me: A truly motivational and life changing book
This book is really a good book which shows us right path. but i read
one more book named "ONE BOOK FOR LIFE SUCCESS" which is truly
motivational and life changing . .The writer has described in Plain
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