Friday, December 2, 2011

Charlene Reviews: When Horses Had Wings by Diana Estill

ISBN #: 978-0979970887
Page Count: 314
Copyright: 2011
Publisher: Corncob Press


Pregnant at 16, Renee Goodchild drops out of school and marries. Now she's trapped in rural Texas with Kenny, her violent, garbage-collecting husband. A bleak future seems assured until she meets self-appointed relationship guru, Pearly.

"That's why you don't let 'em rule the roost. 'Cause you can't count on 'em to be there the next mornin' when it's time to crow," the worldly Pearly advises.

Renee narrates this tale of ruin and redemption where the damaged and downtrodden lead each other to unintended, sometimes heartbreaking, and often bittersweet outcomes. When Horses Had Wings examines the lives of broken people competing for the most basic needs: the primal urge for affection and the eternal search for acceptance.

Charlene's Review:

Renee is a young girl of strict, religious parents. When she becomes pregnant, she is given no choice but to marry. Almost immediately, she is a victim of abuse at the hands of her husband. When Horses Had Wings is a classic example of the cycle of violence in domestic abuse, and how our choices can change our lives forever. After being isolated from the world, Renee finds the strength to change her future, no matter the cost.

My personal measure of a good book is if I can get totally lost in its pages. When Horses Had Wings is such a book. Although a work of fiction, Ms. Estill's writing brings the pain and heartbreak of abuse to life with clarity. Her characters are multi-dimensional and you feel their emotions completely. From fear and longing, to ambivalence and hope, you follow the characters through a less-than-perfect, yet humanly candid journey. While dealing with a sensitive, heartbreaking topic, the writing is beautiful and absorbing. Unlike a lot of fiction works, this isn't a happily ever after story. It's poignant, achingly real, and that is what makes it outstanding.

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