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From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t ...
From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.
When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own. Tyndale House Publishers
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.
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.
Posted February 28, 2013
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.
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Posted February 8, 2013
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.
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Posted March 30, 2013
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.
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Posted June 15, 2013
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.
Posted June 13, 2013
Wings of Glass was not what I expected. It’s story of abuse in marriage. It was a bit predictable, but I guess it was good for trying to explain why a woman stays in an abusive marriage. And the book tries to wrestle through what the Bible says about divorce in an abusive marriage. The end of the book has discussion questions if you wanted to use the book as a starting point for discussion. I would recommend this book as a conversation starter, but it isn’t very exciting to just “read for fun.”Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2013
Penny recorded the events of her life for her son Manny so that he would know her story. Penny married Trent at a young age and cut all ties with her family. He was physically and emotionally abusive after they got married. An accident at work left Trent temporarily blind and allowed Penny to get out of the house, find a job and make some friends. The women she met became her protectors and made sure she was taken care of. While her husband was blind Penny found out that the one thing she wanted was finally coming true-a baby of her own. Through the courage of her friends and fear for her baby Penny managed to stand up for herself and her baby and take the first step in making a new life for her and her son.
This book was a heart breaking story of an abused women's life. I cannot imagine the range of emotions that Penny experienced and courage it took to do what needed to be done and the friendship from her friends that kept standing by her no matter what she said or did.
Posted June 9, 2013
Penny elopes with the cowboy of her dreams and finds a less than perfect life. Ten years later, she is friendless, alienated from her family, and struggling to find food. All that changes when an accident at her husband's work causes his temporary blindness, and Penny goes to the local food shelter. But the catalyst occurs when Penny discovers she is pregnant. Now it is up to her to use her new found freedom to keep herself and her child safe.
This is a heart rending story which accurately shows the confusion and pain which comes from being in an abusive relationship. The writing is compelling, and sprinkled with the companionship which can be found when people are willing to reach out to each other.
Posted June 6, 2013
What a beautiful book. Gina Holmes' novel, "Wings of Glass" is a must read for women everywhere. If it isn't 'your' story, bet you know someone....
Penny's marriage to Trent at first seems like a dream come true for the small town girl, but it quickly turns to a nightmare when he becomes abusive. She can do nothing right and soon learns to walk on eggshells and not rock the boat. When Trent is injured at work and must take time off, he 'permits' her to get a job; her co-workers become her friends and stick by her through it all.
The entire book is written as a letter to their son, in hopes that he will understand when he is older, not only why his dad is not around but how much his mother went through. This is one of the first books I've read on this topic where I truly understood how conflicting the abused person must be...Applause to Gina Holmes for such a powerful and poignant novel.
Posted May 31, 2013
When Penny runs away to marry the man of her dreams, she has no idea that it will turn quickly into a nightmare. Seventeen and sheltered, she is drawn under Trent's spell, not realizing what he is truly like until it is too late. Years of abuse follow, dragging her down, as she sees no way out. An accident at work injures Trent, forcing Penny to find work and, unexpectedly, friends as well.
This is a very well written book covering a sensitive topic--domestic violence. Penny's youth and innocence is heartbreaking as she spirals into depression due to the hopelessness of her situation. Trent's accident helps snap her out of her depression as there is somewhat of a change in him for the better. The fulfillment of a long awaited dream--a child of her own--helps bring some joy to her life. Trent's returning eyesight, however, brings back his normal abusive self. Circumstances spiral to the point the Penny finally has to face the truth and find the backbone to save herself and her son. This is a poignant telling of an all-to-familiar story. I would definitely recommend this book.
Posted April 29, 2013
Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes
This is a great book about being in an abusive marriage. Penny Carson is married to Trent Taylor. She fell for him when she was 17 years old and he was working for her dad. Trent was the perfect man to take her away from her overbearing unloving father. After being married he isolates her from her family and does not allow her to see or speak to them. Penny is in trouble, Trent is abusive, controlling, is an alcoholic and is an adulterer. Can an accident that leaves Trent blind be a blessing in disguise? Finally allowed to seek employment now that he can not support his family, Penny goes to work for a cleaning service. She makes two great friends. Penny does not believe in divorce so she makes excuses for not leaving. When she becomes pregnant and has a baby boy. She tries to see the best in Trent and believes he is going to change. Can he become a good father and a loving husband? Penny’s eyes are really opened when Trent’s girlfriend is murdered, and he causes her friend and baby to fall down the stairs. Will she have the courage to finally leave or will she let him completely destroy her or worse kill her and her son Manny? The author Gina Holmes did a great job while dealing with difficult subjects, such as abuse, divorce and alcohol abuse. This was the first book I read by this author but will not be the last. I was truly blessed to receive a copy of this book from The Book Club Network, for my honest review.
Posted April 17, 2013
As a great storyteller, Holmes tackles the subject of domestic abuse in Wings of Glass. Holmes does a superb job of presenting how Penny, the wife, reacts to the spousal physical and mental abuse she receives. The reader learns Penny’s thought processes when under her husband’s attacks. This book shows the underbelly of an abusive relationship as well as the mindset of both parties. “Behind closed doors” is a cliché that is so true—-outsiders cannot know what goes on in a married couple’s home life. Holmes has opened the door enough to shed some light into the darkness of domestic abuse. For those who need support, this is a great book. For those who only know someone in such a situation, this book could help the reader to understand what someone in Penny’s situation must endure. Holmes’s writing style makes for an easy read of a distasteful subject.
Posted April 15, 2013
Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes is a compelling story written in the protagonist’s voice to her young son so he’ll know about his history and missing father. This story deals with a difficult issue (spousal abuse) that is heartrending and so painful knowing that there are millions of women in similar situations.
But it’s the power of friendship that keeps Penny Carson, trapped in a not-so-happily-ever-after marriage to Trent, going. When Trent gets injured in his job, it’s up to Penny to find employment and she begins cleaning houses with two women from very different worlds. Although Penny tries to deny what’s going on behind the closed doors of her home, Callie May and Fatimah do not give up on her. I love Callie May and Fatimah! Every woman needs one of each in their life!!!
Sadly, it takes a very serious turn of events in Penny’s life before she finds deliverance from Trent. It’s definitely a heart-pounding conclusion you’ll not forget easily. I like that Holmes includes a list of resources at the end of her story to anyone who needs or knows of someone who needs help.
I received a free copy of this book from Tyndale House publishers, Inc. for my honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.
Another great book from Gina Holmes. This time on spouse abuse. Penny escapes home at a young age with a hired help hand on her parents farm. They marry and Trent isolates her from her parents and family. The story is told from Penny's point of you to her unborn son Emannuel (Manny for short). She does not want her son to growing up to see a beaten mother by his father and does not want him to think this is OK. She wants him to be kind and gentle. An accident causes Trent to become temporarily blind. And now Penny must work to make some income to keep them going. She becomes friends with two women who see in Penny that she has been abused. How is for you to read the book. These two women and Penny sometimes made me laugh and cry. They teach Penny that Trent isn't the only one who needs help, but Penny too needs help in getting out of an abusive marriage. Penny manages to think she has hurt her 2 friends and disappointed a caring pastor, but in the end, it is our friends Penny learns you can really count on. I highly recommend this book. Gina Homes is a great author. Read this one directly after Oceans Apart. Now I must read Dry as Rain. Love the family topics she chooses as the basis for her books.
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Posted March 19, 2013
Posted March 19, 2013
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. ~ Richard Bach
"He always said if I left he would kill me, but there are far worse fates than death. Guess I hadn't known that until I met and married Trent Taylor. I didn't mind the cuts and bruises half as much as the insults and accusations. Whoever said, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" has never been on the other end of a tongue that really knows how to cut.
I hope you never know that kind of pain, Son. More than that, I hope you never cause it. How could you? You have such a soft heart. My sweet Emmanuel.
Surely by now I've told you your name means "God with us." Because he was, Manny. He is. Even if you haven't realized it yet, you're lucky to have such a wonderful name. I used to hate mine - Penny - because that's exactly how much I felt I was worth for most of my life. But God used you to change all that.
It's important to tell you before I begin this story that it's not my intention to make you hate your father. He's a man - fallen, like the rest of us. But I know you'll ask about him, and I decided when you were old enough, I would share with you all I know. That day hasn't come yet - you're just beginning to talk! - but I best write it down while it's fresh in my mind. Although some of it, I know, will fade.
Reading this won't be easy, and please don't feel you have to if it's too much. I'm not one to believe all truths need to be spoken, but just in case you want to know, need to know, I'd rather you hear it from me as a whole story than get bits and pieces of the puzzle from others and not be able to make them fit together quite right.
Besides, your grandmother told me long ago the best way not to repeat history is to know it. I think that's probably right. " (Prologue).
This is the story told from the eyes of one who lived what most of fear. Penny Carson was abused by a man, she had once loved and who believed that control was a necessary part of his life, Trent Taylor. It is told as if you are reading it as a journal of sorts written for her son Emmanuel when he was old enough to understand. It is a difficult one to read, but also once that compels you forward in her story to know why some one would stay in a relationship that has no real ending to it. The 'whys' we often ask when confronted with a situation of domestic abuse often seems to be an easy answer to most of us. Just leave, right? Only for those who have been at the beginning, at some point their views on their situation shift and at times they feel justified by the abuse. It's sad when the only hope Penny can manage to find is when she learns her husband has had an accident. She was hoping he might die, but instead her only thoughts were, " Great. Now he's going to be even meaner."
But this is a story of hope found in the midst of darkness. It comes in the form of two ministering angels,Calle Mae Johnson and later Fatimah Wek although like most victims of abuse, it takes Penny awhile to gain enough courage and confidence to confide in them, although she never lets on that Trent is hitting her. She continues to come up with excuse after excuse to cover for his behavior but at some point Calle and Fatimah share their own secrets with Penny. Even then, it's still too hard for her to admit the truth. But will she take a risk if it means placing her own baby in danger?
I received Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes compliments of Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and received no compensation to provide a favorable review. The opinions expressed are solely my own. This is a difficult novel for some, but also one I believe we all need to read, if more than to know a little bit about what goes on in the world even if we would love to pretend it doesn't. For the victims of domestic abuse, it provides a voice and offers hope to those that might see things different by reading this novel. It takes courage to share what Penny has to endure from the beginning and you see the early signs that should have been red flags for her. How she innocently passed them off as simply jealously or a sense of belonging to Trent. The journey is filled with tears, understanding, and hope and one I am personally glad I got the opportunity to take through Gina's words. I rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars.
Posted April 26, 2013
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Posted March 29, 2013
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