Book Review – Glass Halo by Colleen Smith

Glass Halo
Colleen Smith

•  Publisher: Friday Jones Publishing (September 1, 2010)
•  Language: English

Glass Halo is a thoughtful and well-written book that deals with the relationship between Nora, a stained-glass artist and Father Vin DeMarco, a charming Catholic priest. They are literally thrown together when a tornado suddenly touches down, and he pulls her to safety in the nave of the church. When the terrible storm subsides, they emerge to discover that the wind destroyed many of the beautiful stained glass windows.

Nora was raised in a family of stained-glass artists and worked as a glazier until the terrible accident  that left her severely injured and a widow. Emotional and spiritual recovery is harder than the physical. Nora’s marriage was not a good one and became worse the more Liam drank and did drugs. Nora was glad when he died, and that type of response is always fraught with guilt.

When Nora finally accepts the job of restoring the Cathedral windows, she brings that guilt, as well as considerable other emotional baggage. She is as broken as those windows, and so is Father DeMarco, who drinks too much and struggles between the goodness of his priesthood and the limits.

As the work progresses on the windows, the work of putting themselves back together sometimes progresses and other times goes backward. Nora is obsessed with wanting Vin DeMarco, the man, not the priest, and he struggles to hang on to his vocation. Together they discover what is most meaningful in their lives and their relationship with each other and with God. On some levels this is a story of the romance between a woman and a priest, and on another level it is the story of a spiritual journey through the healing power of art.

Readers will enjoy the exquisite use of language and allegory. There are also rich details about the art and craft of stained glass, along with well-researched touches of history and the Roman Catholic religion. An added bonus is the use of beautiful pictures throughout the book. They could be renderings for  stained-glass pieces and the imagery depicted connects to the story.
FTC disclaimer: I bought this book of my own free will. I was not bribed or coerced in any way to buy the book or review it. The author probably doesn’t even know I bought it, and while she gained the pittance of royalty from the one sale, I have not gained monetarily. I have, however, gained from the experience of reading such a terrific book.

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