Monday, March 29, 2010
I have barely been able to read for weeks. A page here and there, if that. I did finish this novel though. This is the one I mentioned several weeks ago.
My critique partner e-mailed me out of the blue and told me that I needed to read this book. That the author's voice is very similar to my own. Then I discovered the book in my pile. It had been randomly mailed to me. How could I not read it? It's like being told you look like someone's twin. You eventually have to look at that person's picture for an idea of how people may see you. (I'm saying you...maybe it's not true for you, but I felt the need. I do want to leave a positive taste in people's mouths.)
This book, The Girl with Glass Feet is written in my least favorite Point of View, omniscient, and is fantasy, one of my least favorite genres. I was a little scared to pick it up. And this crit partner is one I wanted to please...her kind comments meant more than just about anyone else's. So,nseeing what she considered a literary similarity was a curious and horrifying thing especially within a book that was so unlike what I usually chose to read.
And then I opened it and began to read. Here are my thoughts about the book. And if there are similarities in my writing and Ali Shaw's, then I'm humbled and honored.
I'm surprised that I loved this book. Usually fantasy leaves me cold as stone because I struggle getting beyond the extremely foreign and sometimes bizarre details and often I don't connect with the characters because of that struggle. An omniscient point of view is my least favorite, too. Girl With Glass Feet is both fantasy and borderline omniscient. To overcome these issues the story must be amazing and the writing must be compelling. Girl With Glass Feet delivers on both.
Set on an island that is both magical and brutal, it is a story of loss and of love. A tragedy and a hope, life and death struggles with flashes of breathtaking beauty, and characters who ache with unresolved pain. Shaw's prose is artistic and he treats his characters with a respectful tenderness. I opened the book because of the unique premise but the pages turned because the story captured my heart.
Readers who don't like the pace of literary fiction may not love the wistful and meandering turns this book travels at times. Those who love romance and hate a tinge of tragedy probably won't love Girl With Glass Feet. If you can't do F-bombs, there are enough that you may struggle with the read. But character collectors and lovers of whimsy and poignancy should consider giving it a read.