Alex's Reviews > The Girl With Glass Feet

The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
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Mar 26, 10


** spoiler alert ** The farther away I get from having read this book the less fondly I remember it. The reason for this is that it's one of those books where the antagonists get punished, for being selfish and oblivious in the case of the main guy (although, oddly we're let into the cause of his selfishness, how he saw it, and its really terribly sad in the way that the protagonists plight in the novel isn't), or for lying about ability and wanting sex while guilty of being old in the case of a secondary female character (okay, that's slightly glib, but there is that undercurrent of 'ew how gross' associated with her age, which, by the way, isn't even that old. She's in her 40s). So there's all this punishment doled out at the end, but really I found the protagonist had just as much to account for as any of the 'bad guys' and we're told (deliberate word choice there) how he's redeemed and reborn through his experiences in the novel (we're also told how special and great he is by the precocious little girl character. Vomit. That character should be outlawed).

The thing is he's a jerk. A terrible jerk who's completely self centered, a navel gazer to the millionth power who I found so awful that I actually began to feel really sorry for the female lead that she was not only turning to glass, but turning to glass and stuck with this guy. And part of the book is that his terrible past has made him a navel gazing creep, but his past doesn't come across as that terribly awful. Basically his father didn't hug him enough (okay, glib again, but sort of true), AND WHATS WORSE is that he actively denies his father the redemption that's given to him.

Even at the very end, where he's left the island and is in this world of tropical color, having conquered his fears in order to live life like Ida did, he is only doing so in order to find a new and deeper means of retreat from the world. In the end he really hasn't changed at all, and the suffering of poor Ida just proves to have been pointless.

The more I think of it though, maybe this book isn't about redemption but about arbitrary unfairness of the universe, where some get their last words and others don't but everyone dies or disappears anyway and most of our opportunities will be missed ones. In which case it's a better book but still gets two stars because that's just horrifically nasty way of going about things.
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