February 20, 2010

The Girl With Glass Feet - Ali Shaw


When I saw that The Girl With Glass Feet was the second book in the Not The TV Book Group's reading schedule I quickly got online and ordered my copy from the UK. The description of the book sounded tantalising and both covers were gorgeous (I ended up choosing the cover pictured). Discussion about this book is taking place today over at Simon's Blog.

The Girl With Glass Feet refers to the main female character of the book, Ida MacLaird. A young woman from the mainland who, after a brief trip to the islands of St Hauda's Land and a chance encounter with a reclusive resident of the island finds that her feet are quite literally turning to glass - glass that is slowly but surely beginning to transform her whole body. Ida makes the trip back to the islands to seek a cure for the glass transformation and it is then that she meets Midas Crook - a man who has isolated himself quite effectively from almost all human contact apart from his widowed best friend and his young daughter.

I really, really wanted to like this book but (and I'm sure you can see where this is headed!) I really did not like it. I felt some of the writing was glorious and the concept of the story itself was whimsical and moving in so many ways but I am afraid I just did not connect with the main characters at all. Ida's and Midas's back stories were certainly fleshed out and described in a lot of detail but I felt that detail actually swamped the story that was taking place in present time to the point where it was hard to focus on the author's intent. I also felt there were too many characters jumping into the story at different times - I found it difficult to focus on what was important and what was window dressing.

Unfortunately this just wasn't the book for me at this time but I can definitely appreciate the imagination and thought that went into creating the story.

13 comments:

Becky said...

That's a shame you didn't like it, its always disappointing when you get really excited about something and it doesn't meet your expectations :-( The cover is beautiful though.

I like your new header by the way!

Diane said...

Sorry this book did not work out for you. I had it home from the library, but returned it unread (too many other books to read).

Tamara said...

I like the honest review - you've depicted the highs and lows of book love really well. I'm interested in this idea of the bookclub review days, but it scares me too - I'm just not quick enough to read something by a set date.. Anyway, I enjoy following your journey, vicariously.

savidgereads said...

Oh dear am so sorry you didnt like it Karen, |I do have a feeling that there will be a fair few out there who didnt and wouldnt life be boring if we all like the same books all the time. Do pop ovre and join in the conversation as it's always good to get a full spectrum of a book when you are discussing it and I appreciate your honesty and your reasoning.

farmlanebooks said...

I had a similar reaction to you. I'll be posting my review in the next few days, but I had trouble connecting to the characters too. It was all a bit bizarre and fragmented for me.

I didn't understand the cows either!

Danielle said...

I've just started this last week and didn't get as far as I had hoped. It's definitely off the beaten track sort of book for me, but that's okay--I like trying new things. I'm very curious now to keep going after reading your comments as well as Jackie's! We'll see whether it clicks for me or not. :)

Dot said...

What a shame that you didn't enjoy it, the cover is lovely!

Nadia said...

That's a shame you didn't like it. I hate when that happens. That happened with Little Bee for me - I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy and then disappointment. Oh well. The cover from your book was lovely though.

Karen said...

Hi Becky - It is always disappointing isn't it?? That's ok - plenty of other great books waiting for me!

Hi Diane - I am not sure if I would have kept reading this one if I wasn't going to be able to talk about it with others at the end of it.

Hi T - I'm just keeping up with all the read along review days at the moment!!

Hi Simon - I feel exactly the same way - we all have different reading tastes and enjoyments - it's what makes the reading world go 'round! Thanks for hosting the discussion for this one.

Hi Jackie - I completely agree - it was all over the place for me - nothing I could ground my reading senses on to.

Hi Danielle - I will be really interested to hear what you think about this one...

Hi Dot - I know! It's always disappointing when the content is not as great as the beautiful cover.

Hi Nadia - That's right - at least I have a gorgeous cover to gaze at!

Andi said...

It seems to be a mixed bag of reviews so far, but that just makes me all the more excited to find out where I'll fit in the love/hate continuum. I put myself on the library holds list this morning, so I hope it comes in fast!

Karen said...

Hi Andi - it will be great to hear what you think of this one - lots of mixed ideas.

Paperback Reader said...

I saved your review to read until after I had written my own, Karen, and now I see that we felt similarly! The depth of detail and number of characters was off-putting for me too. Beautiful cover, however and some other things to admire within the novel but essentially it didn't work for me.

Karen said...

Hi Claire - yes, a lot of positive things I guess but overall this one just didn't work for me at all.