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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