Wings of Glass

Wings of Glass

by Gina Holmes

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Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes

Winner of 2014 INSPY Award for General Fiction!
ECPA 2014 Christian Book Award Finalist!

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414381923
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 02/18/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 358,678
File size: 2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Wings of Glass


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.


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.

What People are Saying About This

Liz Curtis Higgs

Wings of Glass is a powerful, can’t-put-down novel, so real that it reads like a memoir.

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Wings of Glass 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
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.
mmbear More than 1 year ago
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.
millstreetreader More than 1 year ago
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.
SCSG More than 1 year ago
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!
Reli0 More than 1 year ago
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.  
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Wings of Glass is a fabulous read! It deals quite a bit of heavy issues. But they are real and I admire the author tackling them in this book. This is the reason why Gina Holmes is one of my favorite authors. She has the talent to write real stories, issues and emotions. 100 plus stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
electronic/ read your freebies/ contempoary Christian genre read 8/23-8/24 "You're addicted to an abusive man" Penny Tyler's friends tell her. However, Penny thinks its better than being alone. First under the thumb of a controlling family, her husband, Trent, takes her away from that although she's way too young to understand the power he feels, until he begins to take it out on her...bit by bit. Broken arms, bruises, domestic abuse calls...but she always stood up for him. He was all she had, as he keeps telling her. An accident at his job changes things as Trent is forced to be dependant on Penny, as she finds out she's pregnant after almost ten years of trying. She finds the courage to ask for help from what seems to be both the right and the wrong people. And with each baby step, she finds the "...courage to change the things [she] can, and the wisdom to know the difference". Told through the eyes of the abused, this story is painful to read. Co-dependance is messy and complicated, and naming the abuse and the abuser is never easy. Turning to a place that SHOULD be supportive, a church or a pastor, who acts like you've done something wrong does not help [N.B: I am a retired ordained minister with a Bachelor's in Social Work and a Masters in Counseling and Church History....and someone who is a recovering co-dependant]… Pastors, police, lawyers, social service workers, anybody really, has some kind of dependant nature... maybe that's why so many "helping professions" have high burnout and abuse reports....even we can't get away from it. The ending of the story is just the beginning. A step at a in God and YOURSELF.... and that is the hardest trust of all.
VillaSyl More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that addresses a difficult topic very realistically. Wings of Glass is a novel written by Gina Holmes about an abusive marriage and the woman getting the courage to leave. The entire story of Wings of Glass is a letter to a child from his abused mother. I thought this was a well written book. Holmes wrote this book as though she had first-hand experience to abuse. 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. Gina Holmes did a wonderful job of dealing with two very difficult topics; abuse and divorce. Trent isolated Penny from friends and family. 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. 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 her ability to stand on her own two feet. Penny gets a little help from her friends, even after she ignores and hurts them. Her friends stay by her side and continue to love her. That’s what true friendship is all about. Those are the kind of friends we all long for. This is definitely not a light read. It deals with some very real issues and I recommend reading it. I think this would be a great book for book clubs. Discussion questions are also available in the end. I received an eBook from Tyndale Publishing for my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another book I couldn't put down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For anyone who thinks they may be in an abusive relationship or knows of someone who might be. You forget you are reading and just get caught up in the story. This autgor is truly blessed with a God-given ability to write.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The message and truth of the book hits the heart. As much as I was angry with Penny for seeming weak, I knew she represented so many real woman. I love that she had strong friends that did not judge her but loved her. I also love that this book showed how people misuse scripture to justify sin. Penny went above and beyond for a man that never loved her. It took her awhile to see she was part of the problem as well. She did and she grew up, finally. Though this is fiction, there are real Penny's out there who need help and not judgment. I recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
etav More than 1 year ago
A well written book, but hard to read at times because it is about spousal abuse. The ending is interesting and not expected.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt stop reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AnotherBibliophile More than 1 year ago
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.
Nicnac63 More than 1 year ago
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 
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
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!
tatormc More than 1 year ago
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.