Reviewed by Sheryl Root
Breaking Free by
"The themes of hope through forgiveness, and the beauty of second chances never go astray."
Ten years in a women's prison has developed Maggie Robert's sense of self preservation in every way. Reluctant to be noticed by wardens or her fellow prisoners, Maggie is initially reluctant to become involved with a new program for linking a select group of prisoners with a traumatized or injured race horses in the hope of rehabilitating both women and horses.
Maggie thrives in the new environment despite being targeted by an embittered prisoner for emotional and physical bullying. She quickly connects with Breaking Free, a horse whose damage mirrors her own. Soon Maggie isn't the only one spellbound by this magnificent yet broken horse. When she meets young wheelchair bound Eddie, and his protective father, she sees her dreams fading. Can Maggie save Breaking Free and face her future—a future free from fear?
Breaking Free is an intriguing look into the life of a woman attempting to rebuild a future after bad choices and circumstances conspired to strip her of everything she held dear -- self respect, her family and eventually, her freedom. Lauraine Snelling's story creates a world few of us know where guilt, hatred and regret motivates inmates to flee or fight. Maggie chooses to flee until the love and acceptance of an animal slowly restores her hope in herself and her faith. On the flip side, Lauraine Snelling creates fellow inmate DC, whose aggression and vindictive behaviour highlights the downward spiral when love and understanding is spurned for power and intimidation.
While the pacing seemed slow in parts, and the romance a little forced, the setting was unique and the inmates’ individual personalities were portrayed well. The themes of hope through forgiveness, and the beauty of second chances never go astray. Many readers will be moved by Maggie's courage, Breaking Free's indomitable spirit and the love and acceptance of a little boy who won't allow his limitations to hobble his future.
Sheryl Root is Partner Database Manager at OneHope, a non-profit organization whose mission is to reach every child with God’s Word. She’s also a writer and a reader of everything she can get her hands on … books, blogs, magazines. In other words, she’s both a data geek and a book nerd. She loves to be able to support Christian authors and spread the word on great books and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, a wonderful community of published and yet to be published writers. You can follow her on Twitter at @Sheryl_Root.