Wings of Glass

( 40 )

Overview

On the cusp of adulthood, seventeen-year-old Penny Carson thought she’d found her Prince Charming in farmhand Trent Taylor. With flashy promises and a handsome face to back them up, Trent was her escape from an overbearing father and her one-stop-sign town. But Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship.

Out of options, she resigns herself to the fate of a woman controlled by a man with no control . . . until a welding accident at work forces Trent...

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Overview

On the cusp of adulthood, seventeen-year-old Penny Carson thought she’d found her Prince Charming in farmhand Trent Taylor. With flashy promises and a handsome face to back them up, Trent was her escape from an overbearing father and her one-stop-sign town. But Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship.

Out of options, she resigns herself to the fate of a woman controlled by a man with no control . . . until a welding accident at work forces Trent to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who open up her life to endless possibilities, teach her to live and laugh again—and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own. Tyndale House Publishers

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Editorial Reviews

Romantic Times
TOP PICK! 4½
Holmes handles the topic of domestic abuse with grace and compassion. All of the characters are well developed and real. She even manages to portray Trent’s good qualities as well as his bad. The reader understands Penny’s plight and the reasons she stays. You’ll be sorry to see the story end, because it is so honest and mesmerizing.
SUMMARY: When Penny Carlson runs away with Trent Taylor, she discovers that life is not the fairy tale she expected. After years of isolation and abuse, Penny’s self-confidence is at an all-time low. When Trent is severely injured in a work accident, he agrees to let Penny work to support them. While at the local food bank she runs into Callie Mae, who offers her a job cleaning houses. Working beside her is Fatimah, and the three women become fast friends. Through them, Penny gains confidence and independence, but will it be enough to leave Trent?
Library Journal
At the tender age of 18, Penny Carson believes that she has found her true love in Trent Tyler. Not long after they marry, Trent hits Penny for the first time; her Prince Charming has become her abuser. When Trent is injured at work, Penny finds work cleaning a house. There, she is befriended by two women who help her discover her own strength. VERDICT Holmes (Crossing Oceans) creates complex, fully realized characters, deftly portraying the nuances of an abusive relationship in a way that will help readers understand why battered women don't immediately leave their abusers. This gripping novel is sure to appeal to Christian and secular readers alike. Recommend it to fans of Karen Kingsbury and Kimberla Lawson Roby.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414366418
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/1/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 448,529
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

More by this Author

Read an Excerpt

Wings of Glass


By GINA HOLMES

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Gina Holmes
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6641-8


Chapter One

Trent Taylor sauntered into my life wearing faded blue jeans, dusty work boots, and an attitude I couldn't take my eyes off.

We had a bumper crop that summer of '99, so Daddy was able to hire a farmhand to help for a change. We were all so happy to have a little money in our pockets and another set of harvesting hands, we didn't look a gift horse in his mouth. It was just like that story from the Trojan War. We all let him right in without looking first to see what was inside him.

It's surreal to think that if the rains hadn't fallen just right and the price of tobacco hadn't been up due to a blight that seemed to be hitting every farm but ours, we wouldn't have been able to afford to hire Trent. How much pain I could have been spared ... but then I wouldn't have you, Manny. I'd go through it all a million times just to have you.

Being late August, the air outside was steam and the smell of the roast Daddy insisted Mama cook every Thursday carried past me on what little breeze there was. As usual, our cat, Seymour, kept busy chasing the chickens around the yard. He loved to terrorize those poor birds. I yelled at him like I always did, but he never paid me—or anyone besides Daddy—any mind.

Until that afternoon, I'd never seen those chickens do anything but run from mean old Seymour, but that day the smallest one turned around and pecked him right between the eyes. I still laugh when I think of that cat howling in surprise and jumping back ten feet in the air, tail first, as if God himself had snatched him, only to drop him.

After Seymour tore off and the chickens returned to scratching dirt, I bent over my laundry basket and got back to work, humming something or other through the splintered clothespins tucked between my lips.

Even though we owned a dryer, your grandpappy hardly ever let Mama or me use it. He couldn't see the sense in wasting money on electricity when the sun and wind would do the job for free. I would have offered to pay the measly expense myself, but in my father's household, women were meant to be seen working, not heard complaining.

I bent down to pin up my daddy's undershorts, doing my best not to touch anything but the outermost corner of the waistband, when I felt hot breath on the back of my ear and a rough hand cover my own. Paralyzed, I just stood there staring straight ahead at the dirt road leading from our driveway. I could feel my pulse pounding my temples as I held my breath.

Trent must have taken my lack of protest as encouragement because his other hand wrapped tight around my waist and he yanked me back against him. He whispered in my ear with a voice somehow both rough as sandpaper and smooth as whipped cream, "This better be the last time I ever see my woman touching another man's underwear."

I could barely breathe. At seventeen, I'd never been touched by a man except to have my tail whipped for disobeying. I'd never even held a boy's hand, and here was a man, a grown man, staking claim to me. Just then, the screen door squealed open and your grandpappy's heavy footsteps pounded across the porch.

When Trent stepped back, I finally got the courage to turn around and look him in the eye. He'd been around for a couple of weeks by then and I'd seen him dozens of times, but until that moment, I hadn't noticed the crinkles around his eyes that made him look like he was always squinting against the sun, or the small scar cutting into the fullness of his bottom lip. His longish hair was a shade darker than my dirty blonde, and there was something about the way his nose flared just so that brought to mind a fighter plane. People might have said a lot of things about your father back then, but no one could suggest he wasn't beautiful.

"What are you doing over there?" My father stood on the porch, leaning his hip against the column and holding a glass of water that was sweating as much as he was.

I yanked up my laundry basket, still half full, intending to bound inside, but didn't make it a step before I felt that rough hand of Trent's wrap tight around my wrist again.

"Just taking a break," he said to my father, though he never took his eyes off me. He stared right through me, wearing a smirk. I would get to know that Cheshire grin real well in the years that followed. It was the look he wore when he knew he had won, or was about to. I wonder just what it was he had seen that gave me away.

"You best get on back to work." Daddy's voice was loud as thunder, and it shook me.

Trent's grin only widened. "Now, don't be that way to your future son-in-law." His eyes wandered over the front of me like he was eyeing a ham steak he was getting ready to cut into.

Those roving eyes of his sent unfamiliar jolts through me.

Daddy slammed down his glass on the porch ledge. "Are you listening, boy? I ain't going to tell you again."

Trent put his hands up like he was under arrest. "Take it easy, man. I'm just talking to her."

My heart felt like a butterfly caught in a mason jar. No one spoke to my father that way.

What an idiot I was to think Trent's bravado was because he was so taken with me. In my mind I was the princess, Daddy was the dragon, and Trent, of course, was the knight who'd come to rescue me from the tower.

With my father's eyes on us, Trent whispered I was the prettiest thing he ever laid eyes on. I twisted my mouth like he was crazy, but inside, I was done for. I'd never had a man tell me I was pretty.

I took the bait. With one pathetic cast of his line, I was snagged, swallowing his words happily as that hook dug deep into my flesh.

When Daddy's face took on a shade of sunburn and he started down the stairs, Trent pretended to tip the hat he wasn't wearing and leaned over to whisper that he would be waiting for me at the well at midnight and his woman had best be there. Woman, I repeated in my mind, liking the sound of it. He reeled me in that night, and before week's end I'd agreed to elope.

At Trent's direction, I left a note for my parents telling them they shouldn't come looking for me.

Despite my fears, though—and eventually, my hopes—my parents never did come knocking to reclaim me. No one did.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Wings of Glass by GINA HOLMES Copyright © 2013 by Gina Holmes. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

4 Star

(16)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 28, 2013

    This is Gina's third novel. She has previously published Crossi

    This is Gina's third novel. She has previously published Crossing Oceans and Dry as Rain. I have not read her other books but after reading Wings of Glass I plan on it. If they are anything like this book I will love them.

    I'll be honest. I hesitated to read this book because I thought, I don't want to read about an abused woman. But for some reason this book kept coming back to me and I decided to give it a try.

    I am so glad I did. If I didn't have to sleep I would have read this book in a couple of days. I didn't want to put it down.

    The woman in this book are very endearing. Penny, the main character, frustrated me to no end. I wanted to grab her and say, "Stop giving that man chances." She returned to her abuse over and over.

    Yet, after thinking about it realize I did the same for years. I didn't return to an abusive relationship but I returned to abusive thoughts and desires that nearly destroyed me and my marriage. Maybe that is why I love Penny and kept rooting for her to get it.

    Like all of us, Penny gets a little help from her friends. Even after she ignores them and even hurts them they stay by her side and love her. That is what true friendship is all about, the kind of friends we all long for.

    This is definitely not a light read, it deals with some very real issues, but I recommend it. It is so well written.

    I think this would be a great book for book clubs. Discussion questions are in the end and if you do meals you could even have some fun with food from Africa :) You'll have to read the book to see how that comes in to play.

    Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Penny sees Trent as a way out of her too small town with an over

    Penny sees Trent as a way out of her too small town with an overbearing father. But unfortunately, she picked the wrong guy to do it with!

    Well, it seems that her Prince Charming turned out to be a very abusive man who likes to control Penny but all that changes one day when Trent has an accident at work that blinds him and Penny see's her chance to escape at least for a little while each day.

    She found out she was pregnant and for a long time did not tell Trent but she finally had no choice. They had a son and she named him Emmanual and called him Manny for short. She would always tell him that he was her world.

    The woman she worked with named Fatimah, was very likeable. They cleaned houses and one of those houses belonged to a woman named Callie Mae. Callie Mae was very good to Penny. One day Fatimah tells Penny that Trent is nothing more than a wife beater and this upsets Penny.

    Fatimah tells her she only speaks the truth. The truth is always the truth and you can't change it to suit your purpose, is what Fatimah says to Penny. What will it take for Penny to get the courage to leave? She stays and takes blow after blow and only when her son, Manny is threatened does she decide to act.

    Okay, guys, stopping there. There is still alot of juicy things to come but also periods in between the book that I did not write about, just gave you a broad spectrum of what the book is about. It's a good story that needs to be told because we have way too many women and children living in these conditions and they need to see that it is not good for anyone.

    Will Penny have the courage to tell everyone what else Trent has done? Read it and find out.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Penny Carson was swept off her feet by the farm hand her father

    Penny Carson was swept off her feet by the farm hand her father hired when she was only seventeen.  No one had ever called her pretty or said she belonged only to him.  Now ten years later, Penny knows only too well that sweet words can be empty and often they come before or after waves of temper and violence.   Ever since Trent took her away from the farm and her parents, Penny has been completely isolated. She tries to cover the emptiness and depression by telling herself that Trent is her everything, despite his temper, drinking, and probably unfaithfulness.  That is, until the welding accident that leaves him blind (temporarily) and the pair penniless.   Ashamed to admit it, Penny is actually happy that the accident gives her an opportunity to get a job and away from their shabby house.  Even more exciting is that she makes friends with her boss and co-worker, both strong Christians who help Penny learn to laugh and live.  They also encourage her to find the backbone to stand up to Trent or flee the abuse.  Despite everything the young woman clings to promises that things will change, especially after the couple learns that they are finally having a child.  




    Gina Holmes creates characters with strong voices who carry her stories as believably as if you were watching the events unfold in your own life.  Penny narrates Wings of Glass as a flashback, a revealing to her infant son so that he will know his father, but not be like him.  That supposition creates a sense of foreboding, an almost danger that will permeate the book from first page until the end.  At the same time. realism is added through humor and joy of small events, such as the time Penny, her boss Callie, and co-worker Fatimah go bowling.  The skillful depiction of that growing relationship among Penny, Callie, and Fatimah, a Sudanese immigrant elevates this book from just another "abuse" story to a thoughtful, artistic tale.  Both the cover and the title imply an analogy of the beauty and strength of an emerging butterfly.  Read Wings of Glass and witness first hand Penny's transformation.




    By my count, I have read just under 40 books so far this year, and right now, I would rank Wings of Glass number one for Christian fiction.  If you have never read, Gina Holmes, please do so!  You can try the first chapter by going to Gina's website




    I received a copy of this book for review purposes from Tyndale Publishers.  All opinions are my own.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2014

    amazing author! another wonderful book!

    Gina Holmes is an amazing author who addresses very difficult topics. Her characters are deep and authentic. I was drawn into this book from the first to the last page. A MUST READ!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    My Opinion!!!!!!

    I only got the free sample but that sample is very good. But i want to read the full book and i think the full versin will be even better.

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  • Posted October 25, 2013

    Well written

    A well written book, but hard to read at times because it is about spousal abuse. The ending is interesting and not expected.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2013

    Great read

    Couldnt stop reading

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Beautifully Written and Heart-Wrenching. The author handles seri

    Beautifully Written and Heart-Wrenching. The author handles serious issues delicately but truthfully. I do not know why the very touching scenes did not have me reaching for the tissues, but it could be just where I am today. I have had other stories bring me to tears. This one describes accurately the wife’s pain, heartache, confusion, and her reaching for help from God. I recognize the husband’s anger, manipulation, denial, and even pouring on the charm and promising it will get better. I like Fatimah and Callie Mae and their sincere friendship. They said what needed to be said. I also sympathize with the difficulty of reconciling the belief in “til death do us part” with the need to protect oneself, and especially, the baby. Something about the book seemed to keep me from being totally drawn in emotionally; maybe the predictable plot. Maybe it was the ease with which Penny seems to recognize the reasons for her own behavior, not something I could ever do. Possibly Penny just was not a character I felt connected to. Even so, it was quite real, sad, even tense, and well written.

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  • Posted August 27, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Wings Of Glass, by Gina Holmes I¿m sure you know someone who is

    Wings Of Glass, by Gina Holmes

    I’m sure you know someone who is either in an abusive relationship, or escaped one. More than likely, they stayed far longer than you think they should’ve—correct? I know of several. I’ve contemplated mimicking the famous face-slap from the movie Moonstruck, and tell them to “snap out of it!” This is how I felt during parts of this book. That’s not to say I got so frustrated with the main character (Penny) that I wanted to stop reading. The contrary. I sped through the pages, reading non-stop to see if/when she’d come to her senses.

    I won’t go into the story description—you can read the blurb for that—but I will say that I couldn’t put this book down. The first person narrative drew me in, and the story is compelling. 

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy free from publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The options I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 

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  • Posted August 10, 2013

    I thought this was a well written book.  Gina wrote this book as

    I thought this was a well written book.  Gina wrote this book as though she had first-hand experience to abuse, (whether she did or not, I don't know,)but I thought she wrote very realistically.  The pain and anguish that an abused person goes through is very real, along with the excuses they can generate to cover for their spouse's abuse.  Reading a book like this one makes me grateful for the good home and husband I have, but also challenges me to reach out and care for those in less than ideal circumstances and not to write them off when they don't accept my help immediately.  

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  • Posted August 9, 2013

    Holmes writes the story of Penny, a naive young woman from a dif

    Holmes writes the story of Penny, a naive young woman from a difficult home life who falls into an abusive relationship. Penny is physically and emotionally abused by her husband and lacks the courage to leave him. When her husband is injured on the job, she gets a job to support her family at the same time she learns she is pregnant. Her boss and co-worker support her and encourage her and her life begins to change.

    This is not a pretty, feel-good kind of book. It deals with domestic violence, an ugly topic that, unfortunately, is experienced by too many women. Holmes writes about it in a realistic, emotionally moving manner.

    I thought the perspective of this book was interesting. It was written from the viewpoint of Penny, but in the form of writing to her son, Manny. I was wondering through the book if it was written that way because Penny was eventually killed by her husband, or maybe her son was killed by his father. I like it when I care enough about the characters in a book to wonder about what will happen to them!

    These characters are interesting and realistic. Penny's thoughts are typical of women in her situation, and her friend's reactions to her abuse are realistic as well. The actions of Trent, the husband, are also typical of the abuser. Periods of uneasy peace, followed by an explosion of violence, followed by remorse and promises of change mark the cycle of abuse. Holmes did an excellent job of building the plot to its climax where my heart was pounding with fear about the conclusion!

    Although it is difficult to read, anyone who is or has been in an abusive relationship, or knows someone in that situation should read this book. It helps readers understand why leaving the abuser is not as simple as it sounds. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend!

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  • Posted August 1, 2013

    Read as part of the Tyndale House summer reading program and enj

    Read as part of the Tyndale House summer reading program and enjoyed it. My first time to read a book by this author and it was well written. Recommend for anyone that has experienced abuse.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2013

    What a sad story! Penny so loves her abusive husband Trent and

    What a sad story! Penny so loves her abusive husband Trent and really wants her marriage to work. Yet clearly he is dangerous and Penny just makes excuses for him and is even willing to lie for him. It takes the love and intervention of her friends and the birth of her baby to save her. I found the pastor of the church she went to extremely annoying as he would not listen to her but instead told her to basically obey her husband and all would be well. what also makes this story sad is knowing this occurs in real life all to often - the author Gina Holmes does an excellent job of creating real characters.

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I am so glad I gave Gina Holmes another chance after not really

    I am so glad I gave Gina Holmes another chance after not really liking her first book (Dry As Rain). "Wings of Glass" is written as a memoir of sorts, a mother documenting her life story for her son to someday read. This makes it both realistic and perhaps even harder to read. 

    Ms. Holmes does a fantastic job of making the plight of an abused woman relatable, which impressed me, because I've always struggled with that very thing: not at all understanding why a grown adult is unable to stand up for themselves and make the changes necessary in their life. She does this by giving the reader great insight into the life of Penny Taylor, the "author" of the memoir, and allowing us to see how she became vulnerable to the point of allowing so much toxicity and violence in her life. As I read, I often found myself frustrated with Penny's weakness, yet filled with compassion for the bondage in her mind and heart that kept her metaphorical wings tied down. In that sense, I found Penny's two closest friends very relatable and vital to the story line, as they seemed to give me, the reader, a voice. :)

    Although not an overtly Christian novel, Ms. Holmes intimates that there's really only one Man who can truly save Penny, and even though the Scripture wasn't in the story, I couldn't help but think of Isaiah 61 throughout the novel: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound... To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes..."

    In conclusion, I believe this is a powerful novel, one which, sadly, too many women will probably personally identify with, yet I hope would be helpful and encouraging to them. I also believe this is a helpful book for the rest of us, who may not understand what its like to live in the circle of abuse, yet we want to help those we love who find themselves there. For these reasons, I highly recommend this book. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2013

    Domestic violence is never a pretty subject to talk about or rea

    Domestic violence is never a pretty subject to talk about or read about. And I didn't know that was what this book was about before I started it. The writing was good, as this is the third book by this author I have read, and they all are. She just picks hard subject matter to like. A young 20 something year old dying, a man cheating on his wife, and now this one about an abused wife. I am sad to say, with that in mind, I just don't care for her books that much. They are written great, but very hard to get into. I am ready to read another happy, sappy book now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    The nursery

    This is a well hidden hole in a hollow tree with 'steps' up to the top of the tree. Kits sleep on the ground of the hollow tree. The mouthers on the steps, so they all guard the kits. There is allways one skywatcher guarding te entrance at night.

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  • Posted July 12, 2013

    Wings of Glass is a great book to read if you want to understand

    Wings of Glass is a great book to read if you want to understand why a woman would stay
    in an abusive relationship.  The main character, Penny, rushes into a marriage at an early
    age in hopes of being loved and cherished.  She has grown up in a small town and dreams
    of bigger things.  She soon finds out that her husband is not who she had hoped.  She lives
    in fear for her life.  I appreciated the perspective from which this book was written.  It really
    made it more clear why Penny stayed with her husband.  I also really liked her two friends and
    how different they were but how they both loved her and wanted to help her.  

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  • Posted July 11, 2013

    Domestic violence is such a difficult subject. Those of us that

    Domestic violence is such a difficult subject. Those of us that have never experienced it have a hard time understanding what keeps someone in that situation. Why don’t they just leave and get help? Isn’t it as simple as that?




    Gina Holmes delves into the intricacies that are involved in these complex relationships. Through her written voice you are able to see what goes on in the mind of not only the perpetrator but also the victim and those that are trying to help the victim.




    Trent is an unlikable person. He’s mean and deceitful when he is healthy and he’s mean and deceitful when he’s injured. The one trait that I have to admire about Penny is that she continues to cling to hope that he will improve, especially after the accident. As the story unfolds and light is shed on the darkness of their marriage we can begin to see that we’re all victims of a sin nature just waiting to be set free.




    This is an emotion ridden story told by a broken momma to her son. At times it will make you want to weep and at other times it will make you want to rage at the injustice of it all. In the end I hope you will come away with a sense of hope as I did. Some things aren't set right in the way we deem it to be, but have no doubt about it, in the end all will be justified by the One who is faithful and true! I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.

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  • Posted June 28, 2013

    This book was very realistic. It painted a clear picture of how

    This book was very realistic. It painted a clear picture of how many people live their lives. Wings of Glass deals with the subject of abuse, which is a difficult subject.

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  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Penny elopes with Trent, hoping for happily ever after, but in r

    Penny elopes with Trent, hoping for happily ever after, but in reality, marries a man who abuses her. When Trent is injured, she gets a job and meets two women who become her friends and help her.
    This was an emotional story, as told by Penny to her son. It was not an easy book to read, but worth it. Well done.

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