Genre: Chick Lit, Drama, Christian
Publication Date: March 2013
Eighteen-year-old Penny Carson lives with a father who has a stern demeanor and overbearing personality and a mother who looks the other way. When Trent, a new and handsome farmhand who works for her father, comes in with his trademark swagger, Penny is taken. Trent tells Penny that she should marry him, so she does. They move far away from her parents and live in a small tarpapered shack. Immediately, Trent’s swagger reveals his true personality: he starts to drink and becomes verbally abusive. Eventually, he starts to hit Penny. She is not allowed to go out, even to church, and she is not to have friends. After an accident changes their situation, Penny gets a job and befriends a woman from the local church, Callie Mae, and the employee of Callie’s cleaning business, Fatimah. The three women become friends but try as they might, Callie Mae and Fatimah cannot convince Penny to leave Trent, even when she finds out she is pregnant. She believes Trent’s continual lies that he will change and she doesn’t think he will ever hurt the baby. She also believes his twisted take on the Bible that she should put up with his poor behavior. Being a Christian, God-loving person, Penny is afraid to do anything that would go against God’s word. It is only after a bad situation turns worse that Penny realizes how right her friends are and that God’s love overpowers Trent’s odd opinions.
Written in a clear and easy prose, Wings of Glass immediately captures the reader’s attention and engages. Penny is interesting and, despite being misguided and naïve, strong. She trusts in her love of God to get her through tough times, even when she doesn’t know what the plan is. She finally learns that even though God may have a plan for her, she has to do her part. Once she realizes that, things become clearer, if not easier, for her. Callie Mae and Fatimah are complex characters with great back stories. Fatimah, especially, is a compelling character. Penny wrongly assumes that Fatimah is simple because she is an immigrant “cleaning lady.” As it turns out, Penny learns more wisdom, forgiveness, grace, and compassion from Fatimah than the pastor of Trent’s church. Despite their differences, Fatimah is the one who has Penny’s back.
This book is an amazing story of God’s love, forgiveness, and inner strength. While all of the characters are strong Christians, nobody is preachy. In fact, we see their flaws because they are human. Sometimes outsiders see victims of abuse as weak and stupid for not picking up and fighting back or leaving, but we get a true glimpse of a situation through Penny’s eyes. Even though Penny’s situation is awful, we can understand, if not condone, her decisions. We have to remember that she has no real-world experience; she goes from her parents’ home straight to her husband’s. I loved this book for its real characters and strong friendships. Callie Mae, Fatimah, and Penny are a trio to be reckoned with and I would not want to be on their bad sides.
Because this book deals with spousal abuse, it is not intended for younger readers. There are mature themes, harsh/disturbing language, and violence. Anyone especially sensitive to domestic violence should be strongly cautioned.
Rated R: This book is about adult situations. Domestic violence is the key plot. Definitely a wonderful book, but not for younger readers.
Review copy provided by the publisher. Thank you!