At the core of the story is the life of Ida Maclaird and the disease that is turning her body into glass, starting with her foot. It all starts with meeting Ida on her journey back to a remote archipelago, specifically St. Hauda's Land, filled with snowfall and winged-hybrid insects, albino animals, and thickly-intimidating forests. These peculiarities are nothing compared to the fact that Ida contracted her glass foot after visiting, living on the mainland her entire life, this island. It is believed that she had glimpsed a monster covered in white fur that cursed her with her transformation.
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Then the story follows Ida's mid-adulthood life and the man that gives her a new life filled with meaning and value, Midas Crook. He is a photographer and scientist of a kind that grew-up on St. Hauda's Land and prefers to be alone. Ida meets him while on a mixture of a street and beach during winter, instantly taking a liking to him. Midas in turn finds her melancholy demeanor and defiant tone attractive as well.
Unfortunately, Ida is looking for Henry Fuwa which had been a friend of her mother's in order to fulfill a personal promise to find a cure to her disease; time is limited and love is on a back-burner until further notice. Midas is a young man that is an introverted soul, challenged with the memories of an inadequate father and fearful mother. Ida learns to fight with her fists for her blood and desire to live while Midas is ruled by his emotions. It is this coupling that impress one another to be impulsive and at times, reckless.
A majority of the story revolves around the conversations and wilderness outings between Ida and Midas, both falling in love with the weakness of the other. It started with Ida finding Midas on her journey for a cure, her first glimpse at the winged-ox that is no larger than her thumb which launches into a quiet interest in one another, channelling into an adult relationship between two damaged people; one of the flesh, one of the soul. Midas learns of her disease one fateful night while she is climbing into bed, taking-off her leather boot in the process and putting her cane aside. After this moment, Midas swears to aid her in finding a cure to removed the glass or prevent it from growing.
In the meantime, Ida does find Henry Fuwa and learns nothing of importance. It is revealed that this man, old enough to be her father, loved her mother dearly and holds the same strong love for Ida as well. Regardless, she accepts the inevitable that the disease will take-over her body and kill her in its course. Ida spends her days and nights with Midas, walking the beach, strolling in the forest, or eating at a cafe and learning about his dysfunctional family while refraining from discussing her own. Midas knows is that her mother once lived in a cottage on the island which had belonged to a love-interest.
The story ends with Ida and Midas on a boat in the middle of a lake, a tragedy about to transpire that is out of either of their hands. Ida manages to hide the fact that the glass is rapidly spreading. It traveled from her feet into her legs, capturing her middle section and chest and now reaching for her shoulders and throat. Ida is always completely covered in fabric and material which alarms Midas after the fact that she dies in the boat. It is a riveting scene of a man alone in a boat during winter with a glass woman, filling him with regretfully-dark memories that will haunt him like those of his childhood.
Best part of story, including ending:
I specifically liked this story because of the writing style and modern fairy-tale feeling it gave in an adult-minded plot.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene is the beginning when Ida returns to St. Hauda's Land, an island away from the mainland, and starts to remember the private culture of the inhabitants and mysterious albino and winged creatures.
Opinion about the main character:
I like Ida because of her ability to accept that her disease will take her life in the end, its a different kind of strength. I like Midas because of his journey from a place of aggression to moving into a place of sharing emotions.