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The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

The Girl with Glass Feet

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Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2009.

Costa Book Awards 2009 Judges' comment: "This beautiful book captured our imagination, exquisitely blending reality and fantasy."

If you like Ali Shaw you might also like to read books by Audrey Niffenegger, Alice Hoffman and Eowyn Ivey.


The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

Strange things are happening on the remote and snowbound archipelago of St Hauda's Land. Unusual winged creatures flit around icy bogland; albino animals hide themselves in the snow-glazed woods; jellyfish glow in the ocean's depths...And Ida MacLaird is slowly turning into glass. A mysterious and frightening alchemical metamorphosis has befallen Ida Maclaird - she is slowly turning into glass, from the feet up. She returns to St Hauda's Land, where she believes the glass first took hold, in search of a cure. Midas Crook is a young loner, who has lived on the islands his entire life. When he meets Ida, something about her sad, defiant spirit pierces his emotional defenses. As Midas helps Ida come to terms with her affliction, she gradually unpicks the knots of his heart, and they begin to fall in love...What they need most is time - and time is slipping away fast. Will they find a way to stave off the spread of the glass? The Girl with Glass Feet is a dazzlingly imaginative and gripping first novel, a love story to treasure.


Fantastically imagined.... The hybrid form of the book-fairy tale, myth, psychological realism and fantasy-impresses. But Shaw's most delightful offerings are the vivid details he provides to make the magical real.... As Ida turns to glass, Midas must continue his own transformation, from hardened to human. The end of the book, saturated with color and emotion, is risky and brave like the message it imparts. Only a heart of glass would be unmoved. -Robin Romm, New York

Times Book Review Ali Shaw has created a memorable addition to [the] fabulist pantheon in his gorgeous first novel, The Girl with Glass Feet. ... Over the course of this eerie, bewitching novel, the mixture of love and grief and the imminence of death become as memorable as Ida's mysterious, dreadful transformation and Midas's more achingly human one ... Shaw acknowledges the influence of writers like Andersen, Kafka and Borges (Shaw's menagerie of perfectly detailed, marve

About the Author

Ali Shaw was born in 1982 and grew up in a small town in Dorset. He graduated from Lancaster University with a first-class degree in English Literature and has since worked as a bookseller and at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. He is currently writing his second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2009


Ali Shaw

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Atlantic Books


304 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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