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Walking on Broken Glass [Kindle Edition]

Christa Allan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Leah Thornton’s life, like her Southern Living home, has great curb appeal. But a paralyzing encounter with a can of frozen apple juice in the supermarket shatters the façade, forcing her to admit that all is not as it appears. When her best friend gets in Leah’s face about her refusal to deal with her life and her drinking, Leah is forced to make a decision. Can this brand-conscious socialite walk away from the country club into 28 days of rehab? Can she leave what she has now to gain back what she needs? Joy, sadness, pain and a new strength converge, testing her marriage, her friendships and her faith.



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a narrator opens her tale by declaring, I lost my sanity buying frozen apple juice, the reader knows she's in for a witty ride. The narrator is Leah Thornton, a 27-year-old Southerner, English teacher, and middle-stage alcoholic. She's got her reasons: her only child died of SIDS and her sexual relationship with her husband, Carl, is so troubled their marriage is devolving into a standoff between hostility and frigidity. Leah is steered into rehab by her BFF Molly, which kicks off transformation through growing honesty, self-awareness, and large doses of wry humor. Allan draws many strong, quirky minor characters: Leah's rehab roomie, Theresa, one of a rehab unit's worth of addicts of all manner of substances; Leah's wry obstetrician, Dr. Nolan. A few supporting characters—Carl's wealthy parents—feel more caricatured than characterized, and the largely unsympathetic portrait of Carl makes the reader wonder why the marriage is worth saving at all. A few major developments toward the book's end cry out for greater resolution. But Leah is fascinating, complicated, and above all funny. This nonformulaic look at the spiritual redemption of a life is a bright start; debut novelist Allan is one to watch. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Christa Allan is a true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and that one never wears white after Labor Day. Christa weaves stories of unscripted grace with threads of hope, humor, and heart. The mother of five and grandmother of three, Christa just retired after more than twenty years as a high school English teacher. She and her husband, Ken, live in Abita Springs, Louisiana, where they play golf, dodge hurricanes, and enjoy retirement. Visit Christa online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 821 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Abingdon Press (December 1, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004GHNIH0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,400 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great debut! March 13, 2010
Walking on Broken Glass was incredible. I haven't reviewed such an honest and insightful novel in years. Having worked in several rehabs in the past I can attest to the fact that this author has done her research. She has masterfully captured the heart of someone who has had so much pain in her life that she did whatever was necessary to deaden the pain. Without the Lord, however, that usually ends up manifested in self-destructive behavior, such as addiction. I loved how the author showed clearly how families directly influence behavior. If a parent was withdrawn, people often marry a person who is equally withdrawn or passive. It's not what they want, but it's all they know.

I loved that this book gave Leah a voice and she was able to discover who she was underneath her various roles and her stuffed pain. The reader discovers her heart right along with her. And the responses she feels to those revelations is so genuine. There is no fluffy Christian-sounding denial here. While Jesus heals, this story shows that we must work at recovery (of any sort) and that faith is there to gives us legs to stand on, but we must still take each step. I loved that about this book. I also loved the issues between her and her husband. I've met so many women who have just submitted to "get it over with" and then they wonder why they despise their spouse when the layer of numbing addiction is removed.

This novel impressed me so much that it is making my best of 2010 fiction list. More Christian fiction should be this real. The faith journey was perfectly done and the ending made sense. I'd love to see a sequel to this story, but if there isn't one, I'm still satisfied. I am definitely paying attention when this author has new releases and I'm going to review each title as they come out. Walking on Broken Glass is highly recommended, especially for readers who know people who are struggling with addiction and want to understand them better.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I see me February 25, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Have you ever read a book that felt like it had been written just for you? How about one that seemed as if it had been written about you? Until recently, I hadn't. After reading Walking on Broken Glass, the debut novel by Christa Allan, I can't say that anymore.
On the surface, the story is nothing like my life. Leah Thornton has spent her life turning to alcohol, rather than facing the problems in her life. The death of her infant daughter leads her to depend more and more on beer, wine, and liquor to get through a day. Her best friend Molly and an interesting encounter with frozen apple juice force Leah to face that alcohol isn't covering up her problems, it is intensifying them. It has become her problem.
As Leah enters rehab and travels toward a life of sobriety, she learns more about herself. She's not perfect, with or without a drink in hand, and life is not perfect. Along the way, she realizes that she needs a relationship with God in order to be whole. Even with Him, her life still isn't going to be perfect, but for the first time in a very long time Leah has hope.
Leah's struggles made me face something inside of me. My daughter died before having a chance to live. I handled her death a lot like Leah and the others she met during rehab handled the tough times in their lives. I didn't drown out the pain of my miscarriage with alcohol or cocaine or pot. My drug of choice was food. I didn't really realize that until I read this--that food has become a bit of an addiction for me. Ten days ago we "celebrated" the fifth anniversary of Rylee's passing. I didn't curl up in a ball and cry all day as I had often done in the past. I didn't even have to sit and cuddle with the Care Bear we bought as a reminder.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Redemption we can all relate to August 18, 2010
I just finished "Walking on Broken Glass" and enjoyed it immensely. It took me a little while to get into the book, because the main character, Leah, is an alcoholic who has decided to admit herself to rehab. I wasn't sure I could relate. But pretty quickly I began to relate to Leah in terms of her struggle to build balanced relationships with friends and family; her questioning of God and why He let's bad things happen; and the ongoing process of learning who she is.

I don't want to spoil anything, but I also really liked the way this book ends. It's a good ending, it just doesn't tie everything up in a neat package. You know, like life!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christian fiction stretches new wings. April 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Obsessed with brand names, social status, and, well, alcohol, Leah Thornton isn't your average Christian-fiction protagonist. She's shelved God as a subject for a later date and is slow to change, quick to fire sarcasm, even after her best friend calls her on her drinking and she checks herself into rehab. Yet her chilly shell protects layers of vulnerability that the author peels away gradually and believably.

I don't usually last all the way through women's fiction, but this is a worthwhile debut for sure. I'm even bumping up my 3.5 stars to four (for me, a feat in itself for this genre). There are some flaws, though. Too many secondary characters (mainly the rehab staff) caused some of them to blur together, though others are quite well developed. Occasional verb tense oddness suggests this book was originally written in present tense then edited to past, but along the way some "being" verbs were overlooked. Also, Ms. Allan tends to write really-really-short and/or dangling scenes. Several times, a scene ends on a firecracker line of dialogue that ignites the conflict ... and then the narrative picks up hours later, with Leah telling someone who wasn't present about the rest of her evening. This may be a personal preference, but I really want to see action as it happens.

That said, in this quietly probing story of one woman's journey into the depths of herself, there's a lot of theme "meat" on which to ruminate. Leah's wounds and losses don't miraculously repair themselves in the final five pages. In fact, her healing has only started as her story ends, but she has found the path to a whole self and to God. I found myself caring about Leah, even about her husband Carl. Controlling and selfish as he is, he still seems potentially redeemable, simply never forced to grow up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars (sober 15 years) I have a very different perspective that makes those...
This book passed very high bar in that years ago I was burned out on reading books with alcohlics as main characters. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Ellyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 1 month ago by Erica L.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Read You Can Connect With
Review of Walking on Glass



Life is normal until your best friend sits you down about the fact that you drink way too much. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Rebecca Graf
4.0 out of 5 stars the book was great. Christa Allan's use of metaphor is simply amazing...
Aside from untied ends, the book was great. Christa Allan's use of metaphor is simply amazing and keeps the reader drawn in.
Published 3 months ago by Angela Haddad
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
gift recipient was pleased
Published 3 months ago by Shay Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Ummm!!! Much food for thought...
Reading about what has so long been considered a bad habit as opposed to being a terminal disease with all its complicated interactions gives one a sudden and much needed wake-up... Read more
Published 5 months ago by bushyflem
3.0 out of 5 stars Strong start, good middle, abrupt finish.
The story has a very likable main character and a nice sprinkling of quirky characters. The only thing I didn't care for was the rather abrupt ending. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Susan King
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent story and authentically written . A little too back and forth for me .
Published 6 months ago by Mary Eve Baskerville
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read
I just finished Walking on Broken Glass. Amazing writing! Captured my heart from the beginning. Read-out-loud-to-husband funny. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ray Messmer
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice story
This is well written an edited. Part of my enjoyment of this book is due to my relating to how th husband treated her. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andrea O'Donnell
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More About the Author

A true Southern woman who knows any cook worth her gumbo always starts with a roux and who never wears white after Labor Day, Christa Allan writes women's fiction with hope, humor, and heart.

Christa is the mother of five, and grandmother of three. She recently retired after twenty-five years of teaching high school English, so she doesn't scare easily. She and her husband Ken and their three neurotic cats live in New Orleans in a 170-year-old home where the fans and the lights turn on and off without them. But, they love it because it's in the quirky, artsy Bywater where they're one of the few residents who don't have piercings, purple hair and/or tattoos.

Test of Faith is her fifth novel. Threads of Hope released from Abingdon Press in March of 2013. Walking on Broken Glass (2010) and The Edge of Grace (2011) were also published by Abingdon. Love Finds You in New Orleans (Summerside Press) released in 2012.

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