Book Review: "Dancing on Glass" by Pamela Binnings Ewen

Summary from In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small-town Christian home 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?

I have been waiting a LONG time to read this book it seems. Ever since I finished reading Pamela Ewen's The Moon in the Mango Tree over three years ago, I knew that I would want to read more from her. Well it was worth the very long wait for this book.

I'm going to start off by saying that this book is very difficult to read. If you have problems with abusive male characters in books, you might want to steer clear of this one. There were times when I wanted to put the book down because I couldn't stand what was happening on the page. I also had to flip to the end of the book to see what would happen.

Amalise's character is both weak and strong at the same time. In terms of everything but Phillip she is a very strong female living in the 1970s. She's finishing up law school and then gets a summer clerk position in a law firm before finally getting her first job as a lawyer. She's smart and driven. However for some reason, she's drawn to the sleazeball and can't seem to get away.

I hated Phillip's character. Right from the beginning I knew he was no good and it frustrated me that Amalise could not see it. I realize that love blinds a person but it was just so frustrating for her to realize the signs and still not walk away. What saddened me most was the letter that is shown to Jude from Phillip's parents. It is evident that his parents have no control over Phillip and probably never did when he was growing up. Jude on the other hand is a good guy but not shown as as a perfect angel to make it more realistic.

I normally get annoyed with the type of ending this book has but in this case, I'm so glad that it happened and in that way as well. While this book is also a bit predictable in how the story progressed, I found Ewen's writing to draw me into the story and forget that I knew what was going to happen. Overall, I found this book to be a jarring and eye opening read. Even when we know the truth, we allow ourselves to be deceived and then we pay the consequences for what we have done. You should also never be ashamed to ask for help. Hopefully I won't have to wait as long for another book from Ewen!

Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen is published by B and H Publishing (2011)

This ARC was provided by the publisher


  1. Pamela has a sequel that releases next year :)


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