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When Horses Had Wings [Kindle Edition]

Diana Estill
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.95
Kindle Price: $4.99
You Save: $7.96 (61%)

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Book Description

A Red Adept Select book (voted "Outstanding in Genre"- Women's Fiction)

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.

Editorial Reviews


"When Horses Had Wings brings to mind Hemingway's explanation of his own writing: 'You see I'm trying in all my stories to get the feeling of the actual life across, not just to depict life, or criticize it, but to actually make it alive.' Estill hits this mark so soundly that, by the end of her novel, readers will swear they hear a note from their own life or family." -- ForeWord/Clarion Reviews

About the Author

Diana Estill is the author of four humor books, one novel, and a collection of short stories. Two of her books, This Can't Be Normal and Deedee Divine's Totally Skewed Guide to Life, have been ForeWord Book of the Year finalists. Totally Skewed Guide to Life won the International Book Awards, humor category. 

Prior to becoming an author, Diana worked as a journalist and humor columnist. Her columns have appeared in The Dallas Morning NewsWashington PostThe Miami HeraldRoad & Travel, and other publications. She has been featured in First Magazine and has appeared on a variety of TV shows and radio programs. Diana's debut novel, When Horses Had Wings, was inspired by her life experiences as a former teen mother and high school dropout.

Product Details

  • File Size: 424 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0979970881
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Corncob Press (October 17, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005WX73YG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,934 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written, Compelling Story November 11, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Renee is 16 years old when she becomes pregnant, drops out of school, and marries Kenny, her oafish boyfriend who is two years her senior. Predictably, this is not a "happily-ever-after" union. Kenny degenerates from a disagreeable lout into an abusive brute. Renee finally gets up the gumption to take their son and leave Kenny. But there the predictability ends. Unanticipated and surprising events transpire after Renee walks out on Kenny. Yet, what unfolds next still feels genuine and believable, making this story very compelling.

The characters are not one-dimensional stereotypes, but are painted as complex human beings. Renee, who is initially rather aimless, does develop ambitions to have a better life for herself and her son, and gets a job and goes to college. But she never undergoes a Superwoman metamorphosis. She struggles, makes mistakes, has lapses in judgment - she has her flaws (as well as bad luck), but you still totally root for her. Kenny cannot be written off as completely vile and good for nothing, as his love for his son is so strong. There are no clear victors in their battles, and plenty of disappointment and heartache to go around.

Given the circumstances, the book has a satisfying ending. There is also an epilogue, which briefly summarizes what happened to all of the characters in years hence. I appreciated that post script, but I loved this author's writing style so much that I would have been very happy had the book continued into the future and drawn out all of these events to their conclusion. I simply didn't want the book to end.

While "When Horses Had Wings" is certainly a poignant tale, it is not a depressing, oppressive book. This is largely due in part, I think, to the wonderful prose found in the story. Ms.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Have you ever read a story that centers around abuse, only to find yourself at the end wondering why you chose to waste your time getting depressed? "When Horses Had Wings" is different! I think Diana's background as a humorist allowed her to approach this story with a degree of detached amusement that drew me in and made me know right from page one that I would not regret the read. The characters seem so real, and the "victim," Renee, shows an inner strength that grows with her. She has moxy, it just takes her a while to realize it. Having grown up in the south, with several years in TX, I feel like I have personally met each of these characters at some point in my life. I'm pretty sure a few of them are based on my relatives! They are vivid and real, and Diana paints them in such a human way that I can't even hate the bad guys completely. I laughed, cried, and laughed again--and felt really good at "The End."
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this story! November 9, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read and loved all of Diana's books and even though this book is fiction it could be the true story of an abused young woman in a marriage that becomes progressively worse to the point of not only mental but also physical violence. Renee still manages to have the courage to leave him and take her son with her and although her life is anything but easy, you feel like you know Renee by the end of the novel. I love when you get to the end of a book and want more and that's how I felt when I got to the end of this book, I didn't want it to end.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Moving, Compelling, Contemplative Piece November 21, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My emotions ran the gamut...from anger to sadness to hope, and even laughter at Diana's wit. An emotionally charged read from the moment I began until I finished in only a few hours. I've never been to Texas, but Diana's words let me taste the dust and feel the heat of long summers in her native state. Without doubt, this is a book I highly recommend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish there was a 3 1/2 star choice. February 6, 2013
I didn't *quite* like this book, but almost. I agree with some other reviewers that some areas of it just didn't become meaningful; I couldn't enter into the emotions. I don't want to give a spoiler, but there's a relationship that "develops" that is supposedly a runaway train. I never felt it. It was like someone telling me about what happened to their neighbor down the street.

That said, I did root for Renee. I didn't like the jump of, "...and then 6 years later..."; the ensuing time could have been "used" better, maybe. We needed to SEE those 6 years, or at least better glimpses of them. Then again, I think some lives do go that way: they happen while we're not looking.

The ending, well...I dunno. Plausible to some degree, but abrupt. If that was going to be the resolution, okay, but it did seem like a "...and then I woke up..." kind of thing.

Rather than an epilogue (Told, not Shown), I would rather have seen those outcomes at they unfolded.

I almost liked this book, but not quite.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written with humor, sarcasm and insight January 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Though the title is a bit obscure relative to the topic, "When Horses Had Wings" is a well written book which follows an old, familiar theme of spousal abuse, poverty, hopelessness, and finally finding a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. There are places where the protagonist misses direction, but she is easy for the reader to relate to. Sprinkled with a bit of adult language, sarcasm and humor, the text is well written and maintains the reader's interest throughout and earns its four stars.

This book was received in eBook format from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 4 days ago by Deborah Hess
5.0 out of 5 stars It had a good story also
This was a well written book of some of the history of life on the plains. It had a good story also.
Published 1 month ago by Judy Culliton
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, very deep and thoughful characters
This book was really well written. Rarely when I finish a book do I go back and think about the characters, but I find that I do that with our "heroine" Renee. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer L. Gentry
2.0 out of 5 stars A not-so-triumphant tale
I judged this book by its cover and I was wrong about everything. The title conjured up images of unicorns and the magic of a child's imagination. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sierra K. Sorrell
4.0 out of 5 stars Poignant tale
Easy read, interesting, dark, but not totally pessimistic. Characters are believable, but a little simplistic. Would like a little more background information.
Published 6 months ago by Jteacher
4.0 out of 5 stars A more truthful look at life
I've read quite a few stories on women in "bad" relationships and this one felt closer to the truth. Not over the top but a lot more real. Read more
Published 7 months ago by kat storm
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Loved the story and the way it was written in the voice of the main character. I laughed and cried.
Published 8 months ago by Lori A. Heim
5.0 out of 5 stars When Horses Had Wings.
I enjoyed reading this book. The story of a poverty stricken girl who got pregnant at 16, married and suffered at the hands of her abusive husband. Read more
Published 9 months ago by C Patterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Some choices are irreversible.
Teenage pregnancy terminates childhood prematurely. This novel explores the subsequent life events related to the enduring consequences related to a momentary impulse.. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Prindaville
4.0 out of 5 stars A Grim Story of Abuse, But Worth the Read
The subject matter is grim and the story is grimmer. However, I still enjoyed this book- or perhaps it would be better to say I was captivated by it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by FrancesG
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More About the Author

Diana Estill is the author of five humor books, one novel, and a collection of short stories. Two of her books have been ForeWord Book of the Year finalists. Her second book, Deedee Divine's Totally Skewed Guide to Life, won the International Book Awards, humor category. Diana grew up in Texas, where she worked previously as a failed Dairy Queen waitress, disgruntled corporate secretary, and starving humor columnist.

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Red Adept Select
I'm another member of the Red Adept team. I believe a lot of women, in particular, will relate to Renee's journey to find a way out of abuse and poverty, and her struggle to make a good life for her son.
Feb 8, 2012 by Michelle R |  See all 2 posts
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