Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Review: Wings of Glass

Author: Gina Holmes
Pages: 400

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Wings of Glass is a novel written by Gina Holmes about an abusive marriage and the woman getting the courage to leave.

Penny Carson was 17 when the handsome Trent Taylor staked his claim to her. He swept her off her feet and out of town and away from her overbearing father.

Trent is controlling and abusive and manipulative. He is an alcoholic who hits her when he's drunk and even when he isn't. He has an accident that leaves him blind and he permits Penny to go to work where she makes two good friends who help her find her wings.

Wings of Glass is written as though it is a letter to Penny's son so that he will know about his father and why Penny had to leave.

This book was personal for me. I found it very easy to relate to Penny, not just because the author did a great job of creating the character, but because I have lived in an abusive relationship.

Gina Holmes did an amazing job of dealing with two very difficult topics -- abuse and divorce.

Trent isolated Penny from friends and family, which is exactly what happens. He made her believe that she was lucky that he loved her and that she wasn't really worth it. Penny was always walking on eggshells trying to not set Trent off but at times egging him on because she wanted to have some control over when and why he hit her.

Penny, like many abused people, tried to see the best in the abuser. She loved him because she needed him and didn't see value in herself or believe in her ability to stand on her own two feet. She loved him because when he was good, he was really good... except that he wasn't. He was selfish, but slightly pleasant to be around.

Because of my own experience, this book hit really close to home. So much, in fact, that I felt like I was in Penny's mind and knowing what she was thinking and why and what would happen next... and it would happen next and it was what she was thinking.

The author very accurately portrayed the complicated relationships that are between the abuser and the victim and the emotional turmoil that it puts you through. The relationships of the victim and those who care about her were also very accurate. Often authors approach difficult topics and sugarcoat them or write about them in ways that makes them less than realistic. That wasn't the case with this book. It is realistic and not sugarcoated.

For me personally, the abuse and violence in this book did not offend me, but it's only fair to warn you that the author does write about the abuse as it was happening.... and she doesn't "tell", she "shows" you. So if that would be too difficult for you to read, you may want to skip this book.

This book also addressed the topic of whether or not divorce is ok for a Christian. The book never really stated if it was ok or not and left that part somewhat unresolved. Varying viewpoints were presented. There were those who think that divorce is never okay and there were those who encouraged Penny to divorce him because God would not want her in that situation. In the end, Trent divorced Penny and she did not have to make that decision.

Personal note:

Within a week or two, maybe less, of me ending my relationship with my abusive boyfriend, I was at a Mexican restaurant where they were doing karaoke. I decided to get up there and sing and chose Martina McBride's song "A Broken Wing". When I chose it, I chose it for the vocal range and the fact that I knew it by heart and liked it, not because of any personal meaning. But when I finished and looked at my dad and saw him crying I realized the significance of the song I had chosen.

In this book, Trent throws away the figurine with the glass wings and when Penny pulls it out of the trash, the wings were broken. Often it's not just a matter of unbinding your feet and being free of the abusive relationship. You can leave, yes, but you are still broken and it takes time to heal. The healing process is long and difficult. My wings were broken and I still flew and as I did I gained strength and healing that can only come from God alone... but I had to trust Him enough to walk away.

With a broken wing, She still sings,
She keeps an eye on the sky
With a broken wing, She carries her dreams,
Man you outta see her fly
(Martina McBride, A Broken Wing)

If you are in an abusive relationship please seek help. Not all abuse is physical, but it is still abuse and you deserve better. Get out. Please. Contact a counselor or pastor or trusted friend who can help you find your wings.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

You can purchase this book at Amazon.
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