Book Review: The Girl with Glass Feet

Strange creatures inhabit the remote northern islands of St. Hauda’s Land, a place where inhabitants’ lives have been intertwined for generations and visitors seldom stay for long. Ida Maclaird has returned to this cold land in search of a cure for her bizarre condition, she is turning into glass from the toes up and believes she picked up her ailment while visiting the previous summer. During that summer visit, she met a man who looked after a herd of tiny moth-winged bulls and who mentioned there were glass bodies hidden in the bogs.

Midas Crook is a troubled young man more comfortable seeing the world through a camera lens then interacting with it. Something about Ida draws him to her but when he realizes she is searching for Henry Fuwa, feels torn by his attraction to her and ties of the past. As Ida’s condition worsens, she continues to pull Midas from his shell while revealing some long held secrets that tightly bind island inhabitants.

While the ending is unsurprising, this is a touching testimony to the power of love and secrets while revealing the strength of the human spirit. Lyrical yet with the spare sense of the cold northland and hints of Nordic mythologies, this is a charming, rather unusual debut novel.

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