Sometimes it takes losing everything to grab hold of what really matters.
Women’s ministry leader and Seattle housewife, Alice Goddard, and her successful graphic-designer husband appear to have it all together. Until their credit and debit cards are denied, launching Alice into an investigation that only leads to the discovery of secrets. Meanwhile, her husband is trapped in a downward spiral of lies, shame, and self-destruction. Can they break free from their deception and turn to the only One who can save them? And will it be in time to save their marriage?
I don’t often have the opportunity to review fiction from smaller publishers, so I was thrilled when Breaking Free landed in my lap. I’d already read chapter one, and I wanted to know more. How had Trent got himself into such a mess? (And believe me, it’s a BIG mess!) Here was a man who couldn’t seem to resist the temptations coming at him, even though he would tell himself it would be the “last time” every time. Alice, meanwhile, knew nothing of his secret life but could see that the result of it was destroying their marriage.
Breaking Free is classed as a contemporary romance, but it’s not a pretty read. At times, it’s downright ugly. I wanted to despise Trent, and pity him for being so weak. Were there no depths to which he would not sink? But then, as Trent began to crawl out from the pit, I found myself liking him more and more. I wanted him to succeed. It was easy to feel sympathy for Alice as she began thinking of her future and tried to salvage what was left of her family. Thankfully, they had genuine friends who were rooted in Christ. These friends were able to give the help that was needed even if, at times, it wasn’t exactly wanted. But first, Trent and Alice had to break free from the shame and embarrassment that had become their lives.
This is not a novel with a neat ending. Not every aspect of their lives is resolved. There are still questions to be answered and consequences to be paid. If anything, the ending is a beginning. Part of me wishes there would be a sequel where everything would be wrapped up with a neat little bow, but I’m glad the end is left open because that isn’t the point of Breaking Free. This is a story about drifting away from God and reaching bottom before you realize you need to be crying out to Him for the help. We might not have the same problems as this fictional couple, but I think most of us are guilty of drifting away at some point or another. Breaking Free is a poignant reminder that we need to stay close to Him and call on Him always, whether we’re at the top of the slippery slope or have already landed in the pit.
Thank you to Jennifer Slattery and New Hope Publishers for my complimentary copy of Breaking Free, which I received in exchange for my honest review.
Have you read Breaking Free? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publisher: New Hope Publishers
Publication Date: 07 March 2016
Page Count: 320