About the book:
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.
This book doesn't release until next year, but I believe you can pre-order it now. Nevertheless, I received the book in the mail and decided I'd just take a peek at a few pages, then I intended to set it aside to read closer to the release date. Well, the next thing I knew I was a third of the way through the story and didn't want to stop. If I didn't have a full-time job I probably would have finished it in one sitting. I was deeply insightful and so true-to-life that I forgot I was reading fiction. I've met many people like the main character, Penny, both in my personal life and during my professional career as a social worker. I have to say the author is spot-on when it comes to a victim's mindset.
The author was not afraid to show how things were rationalized in the point of view of someone who felt trapped, but still loved their abuser. I fell in love with the story from the beginning because though the main character was a victim, I understood her and empathized with her situation. I loved how the author showed the progression of Penny's thinking to the point where she finally saw that she also played a role in keeping herself trapped and positioned as a victim. Everyone's story is different when they suffer from abuse, but Penny's felt so genuine and real that the story made a lot of sense. She could have been a friend, a neighbor, or someone in a church fellowship. I wanted to help her like her friends did, but I also wanted her to discover that she needed help. If those ladies hadn't stuck by her despite her bad choices, I don't know where she would have ended up. I was grateful for them hanging in there.
Last, the author's voice in this book was compelling and had the tone of classic literature. I could hear the poverty in her dialog and the immaturity that allowed her to be trapped for so long. The author did a fantastic job with the way the story was told. I loved how she wrote the story like she was telling her son about his father. A few times it moved me to tears because it was so honest and heart felt. All people are three-dimensional, even abusers. Why not let the child know that his father really did love him even if he didn't know how to express it. Why should a mother tell her child only the bad things about her marriage and not share the good along with the reality of what happened? Anyway, I don't want to post spoilers, so I'll leave it at that. In short, this book was fantastic. Even though it's not 2013 yet, this book is making my favorites this for 2013. If Wings of Glass doesn't win at least one contest, I'll be shocked. It's top-notch storytelling and I loved it.
And now for the question....
Have you known anyone in a physically abusive relationship? (You don't need to be specific.) How did it influence you?
I will draw a winner next Sunday using "The Hat" randomizer. :)