Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dancing on Glass by Pamely Binnings Ewen - REVIEWED

About the Book:

In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir meets Phillip Sharp, a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known.

A young lawyer herself, raised in a small town and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama’s rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith.

His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret. In this lawyer’s unraveling world, can grace survive Ama’s fatal choice? What would you do when prayers seem to go unanswered, faith has slipped away, evil stalks, and you feel yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?

My Thoughts:

“You’re making bad choices, with consequences that you won’t be able to control.”
(p. 169)

Truer word were never spoken into the life of Amalise Catoir. Oh but that she would have listened to her dear friend Jude. But she did not. She listened instead to one of the oldest lies in human history – she was “needed” and “wanted”, and her love would “fix” the broken life of Phillip Sharp. Amalise paid a dear price for her choices.

Pamala Binnings Ewen tells a disturbing and, unfortunately, not uncommon story of relationship between two people who are drawn together out of an unhealthy “need”. Amalise’s heart wants to mend the broken man that “loves” her, and Phillip is trying to fill a vacuum in his heart that no other human could ever fill. Their relationship is tragic and, for the reader, sometimes very disturbing. Yet another truth becomes evident toward the end, and it’s one that believer’s need to remember: “You make your way through the bad times the best you can. The Lord shows us the way and we just get through ‘em.” (p. 131)

There are times that it seem doubtful that either Amalise or Phillip will survive this story. I think the title could be “Dancing on Broken Glass,” and it would reflect the true nature of the main characters and their relationship. Only God can heal the brokenness in our lives. No human being can ever fulfill that role, no matter how hard they try.
About the Author:

Pamela Binnings Ewen practiced law for twenty-five years before following in the authorial footsteps of relatives such as James Lee Burke (The Tin Roof Blowdown) and Andre Dubus III (The House of Sand and Fog). Dancing on Glass is her third novel. Ewen lives in Mandeville, Louisiana.

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