Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Fairy tale for Grownups - The Girl With The Glass Feet

As a little girl, fairytales were my favorite bed time story, and my daddy regal me with tales of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White. I would drift off to sleep dreaming of prince charming, dancing dresses and castles in the sky.

It wasn't until I got a little older that I realized, hey - there's some bad stuff going on in these stories too! That Stepmother really is a wicked witch, that apple was poisoned, and that spinning wheel...well, just stay away from that thing!

But I still love fairytales, and The Girl With The Glass Feet byAli Shaw fits the category with it's fanciful theme with a modern twist. But this is not a child's fairytale at all!

Ida Maclaird is slowly turning to glass.
It began with a single crystal shard in her toe, but now Ida’s feet have turned to solid glass. She doesn’t know why, but she does know that it all began when she visited the strange, desolate island of St. Hauda’s Land. She has heard that Henry Fuwa, a reclusive scientist she had previously encountered on the island, might have a cure for her, so she has returned to find some kind of help as the glass slowly creeps up her body.

Midas Crook has lived on the island all his life, and longs to escape the dreariness and monotony he finds there. Through his photography, he captures images of what he imagines a different life could be, and when he captures an image of Ida, the stranger with the large boots and even larger secrets, Midas soon realizes his life is about to change.

Even as Ida and Midas become close, the swirl of family secrets and clandestine relationships threaten their relationship. But they diligently search for Fuwa together, not realizing the man’s infatuation with Midas’ mother could prove an obstacle in their pursuit of answers for Ida’s quest. When they finally confront him, Fuwa explains there is no cure for the bizarre ailment and Ida must come to gripes with the reality of her certain demise – she will certainly turn entirely to glass.

In his debut novel, Ali Shaw has created a magically emotional, although at times dismal tale of romance and courage with “The Girl With The Glass Feet.” Shaw’s intimate, melancholy story has a complicated plot that at times is hard to keep straight with all the various clandestine relationships between all the parental figures, but the central story of Midas and Ida is tender and heartwrenching. Shaw has a brilliant imagination that is evidenced by the fanciful creations of the moth-winged cattle that flit throughout the story, and his command of the complicated but fascinating role as storyteller puts him in the good company of the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen. Their stories were not always for children, you know.

All good fairytales have a moral lesson within them, and “The Girl With The Glass Feet” is no exception. Its moral comes from the slightly insane Henry, who tells Ida “… carry on with things. Live your life. Don’t mess with the mumbo jumbo.” Wise words, indeed.


Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Great post Sharon!

cheap viagra said...

It is indeed a good reading for grownups, at least it was for me.