Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Girl With Glass Feet

“She had felt a collision with him and known that she had wanted this her whole life: to crash for just one moment into another person at such a velocity as to fuse with him.” 

Last summer my mum bought me a book to celebrate surviving my degree. She actually stumbled across it when typing 'her white hart' into google to see what else came up! She found Ali Shaw's blog, where he was talking about white deer, and from there discovered his first novel 'The Girl with Glass Feet.' 

Now, since last June I've been working my way through the 'A Song of Ice and Fire' (more popularly known as 'Game of Thrones') series, which has meant this pretty little white and teal book with silver pages has been sitting on my shelf for the last seven months. But I've been aware of it's presence the entire time and I was really excited to finally pick it up, and it didn't disappoint. 

This is a beautifully delicate book. I don't want to give too much of the plot away, because I highly recommend you read it for yourself. It's a story of shy romance, set in the remote monochrome islands of St Hauda's Land. A modern day fantasy, this novel has the balance of magic and reality finely tuned. It focuses on a handful of characters; mainly Midas, the introverted photographer, and Ida the ex-thrill seeker with a secret in her boots. The story is both gentle and brutal at the same time, much like the backdrop it is set amongst. 

When I'm reading two things are really important to me; one that it is well written, with good prose and language, and two that I can relate to the characters. This is Ali's first novel and the first chapter or two I did think the language was a little look-at-me-go, but he settles into a stunning rhythm fairly quickly. And the characters! Well, they are just brilliant. So believable and complex. I'm in love with them all. Seriously. And the telling of Midas has totally made me rethink quiet guys, in a good way. 

The above picture is just a sketch I did last night of the two main characters, how I imagine them. I modelled Midas on Kit Harrington, and Ida on Bette Davis, interesting combination I know. I saw Ida as a young, fragile Bette Davis from the moment she was introduced. There's so much beautiful imagery in this book, it's definitely something to I'd enjoy illustrating in the future. I'll put it on my to do list. 

You can view Ali' Shaw's website here.  His blog is full of lots of interesting tid-bits, well worth checking out! 

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