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Into the Free: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Julie Cantrell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (446 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Just a girl. The only one strong enough to break the cycle.

In Depression-era Mississippi, Millie Reynolds longs to escape the madness that marks her world. With an abusive father and a "nothing mama," she struggles to find a place where she really belongs.

For answers, Millie turns to the Gypsies who caravan through town each spring. The travelers lead Millie to a key that unlocks generations of shocking family secrets. When tragedy strikes, the mysterious contents of the box give Millie the tools she needs to break her family's longstanding cycle of madness and abuse. 

Through it all, Millie experiences the thrill of first love while fighting to trust the God she believes has abandoned her. With the power of forgiveness, can Millie finally make her way into the free?

Saturated in Southern ambiance and written in the vein of other Southern literary bestsellers like The Help by Kathryn Stockett and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin, Julie Cantrell has created in Into the Free—now a New York Times Best Seller—a story that will sweep you away long after the novel ends.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A young girl growing into adolescence confronts family abuse and a dark past in this lyrical debut novel. Millie Reynolds and her mother live in a ramshackle cabin in Depression-era Mississippi, occasionally receiving unwelcome visits from the violent family patriarch, Jack. With her only friend, Sloth, dead and gone, Millie struggles to find any happiness with a “nothing mama” and a ruthless father. Only the passing caravans of gypsies offer her any semblance of belonging. But when unlucky events engulf her, she discovers some surprising secrets that eventually help her hope in God’s love. Cantrell’s exquisitely written story immerses readers in a world that is as cruel as it is beautiful. From the opening lines to the very last sentence, the book’s magnetic prose bewitches and enthralls on every page. A visceral and gripping journey of a young woman’s revelations about God and self, this novel will surely excite any reader who appreciates a compelling story about personal struggle and spiritual resilience.”
 - Publisher’s Weekly
 
 
“Cantrell’s words paint vivid pictures that bring Millie’s harrowing story to life. Riveting you to your chair, this story is a reminder that sometimes faith — real faith– is slowly built during the darkest moments of your life.”
- RT Reviews
 
“Julie Cantrell beautifully renders a vivid past, but her subjects are immediate and eternal—family secrets, love’s many losses, revenge and revelation, and finally redemption. Her characters may buck and brawl and bray against the notion of God in their lives, but there’s no denying He continues to send them into each other’s path, and Cantrell masterfully introduces them to one another in her wonderfully woven narrative. This book is full of insightful detail and wondrous turns, with an ending that moves in all directions through time like God’s grace.”
- Mark Richard, author of House of Prayer No. 2


"A beautiful and literary coming-of-age romance that is as close to perfect as I've seen in quite some time."
Serena Chase, USA TODAY

About the Author

New York Times Best-selling author Julie Cantrell was the editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review. She has been a freelance writer for ten years and has published two children’s books. She has contributed to more than a dozen books, and her first novel, Into the Free, hit shelves February 1, 2012 (David C Cook). In addition to writing the sequel to that novel, Julie was honored to receive the 2011 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Artist Fellowship and is currently working on a creative nonfiction book about her family’s adventures as first-generation farmers. Julie and her family live in Oxford, Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm. She is also a certified speech-language pathologist and currently teaches English as a second language to elementary students.

 


Product Details

  • File Size: 733 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 078140424X
  • Publisher: David C. Cook (February 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006YS5V2O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 166 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading January 29, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My disclaimer regarding bias: I grew up with the author, and thought the world of her long before she published anything. Now, I am simply in awe of her. Most reviews I've written have been solicited by authors known to me personally. This review is unsolicited. I hope that my inadequate typed words are able to convey the depth of passion I have for this book.

The bottom line: I have no recollection of being so powerfully moved by written words in my lifetime.
I read the first four chapters after a long day at the office, when I greatly desired only to sleep. I forced myself to put the book away, only after awakening my bride to share a few passages with her. I rationalized savoring the experience, meteing out only a few chapters a night. Today, instead, I finished the book. I cried no less than three times. I stopped to get into the floor and play with my kid, tears in my eyes, and to hold him- telling him that I love him. Mrs. Perkin's Millie Reynolds represents to me hundreds of victims of domestic abuse/neglect and child witnesses of domestic violence that have streamed through my office seeking therapeutic services. My tears and anguish for Millie are the tears I've never let myself cry for them- the depth of pain that I felt here something professional boundaries limit me from in my practice.

Julie writes with an authenticity and genuineness that perfectly captures the experience of many children who grow up in violent homes. Millie's growth from child to late adolescent in the book tracks perfectly with the psychologic development of kids in her position. I've developed workshops and delivered countless trainings in this particular subject area.
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great. Only great. January 30, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Julie Cantrell has written a great novel. It is a story of grief, love, conflict, and forgiveness. And as it is Southern, it is especially a story of faith. It is difficult to write a review of such a story, as the risk of leaving out critical concepts is greater with the myriad of them Julie has woven so well into this tale; so brevity herein. Her characters are masterful: from her father (whom she calls by his given name, Jack)and mother to her almost-mystical, Sloth, to a knight (my appellation) named Bump the reader will attach himself to them as well as others. I don't know where Julie came up with the idea to write INTO THE FREE, but God gave her the talent to write it.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully-- Almost Poetically--Written Story February 4, 2012
Format:Paperback
I loved this book. The story was captivating and powerful, but even more than that, Julie Cantrell's nearly poetic prose painted a picture that engaged all of my senses and emotions and drew me in from the first pages. I highly recommend this powerful, captivating and beautifully written book.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Book Clubs! February 5, 2012
Format:Paperback
Exceptional prose. Exceptional story. Exceptional characters.

Julie Cantrell creates such vivid imagery and brings her characters so much to life in this debut that I was often left amazed.

This book is a perfect book club book. Because not only is it immensely enjoyable, there are some things that transpire toward the end that will stir up a lot of juicy, engaging conversation! For me, there was a couple things I didn't necessarily agree with, but I was dying to talk to others about them to hear their thoughts/reflections. I know I'll be pitching it to my book club friends in February!

I can't wait for more from this very talented author.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! February 15, 2012
By Cassie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I am going to start off with this - I am an avid reader and have never, not once, written a review. I felt I had to for this book. It was absolutely amazing. Heart-wrenching, uplifting and full of love, loss and forgiveness. It was wonderfully written. When I finally finished, I noticed that this is an amateur author who has never written a book before! And she did a wonderful job of creating the characters and the story. I absolutely loved this book, and am sad to have to start a new one, knowing it can't possibly top this one. It is definitely worth a read! I cried, laughed and was frightened right along with the main character, Millie. Great job, Julie!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Language, Wonderful Story February 9, 2012
Format:Paperback
I really connect to books through the language--the intricate word choice that is used, and Julie Cantrell delivers. Further, the story that she creates, along with the setting of Millie's world, is fantastic. If you are looking for a book to mesmerize you, one where you won't be able to put down the pages, Into the Free is it. Seriously, get this book now. You'll thank me (and Julie!!)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking! February 14, 2012
By KDonner
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just got my Kindle and feel like I hit the jackpot with this one. From the very first page I was hooked. I give this book five stars because it really does deliver when it comes to the writing and the story--not always easy to do. This is very much a story about discovery, and rediscovery. Cantrell's writing is smooth, almost poetic--all while moving the story forward which, at times, is broad and complex. I really commend her for tackling some of the more difficult topics such as faith in the face of adversity.

It is funny because I really was not looking for this book. I heard my neighbor talking about it a few days ago; and then, while buying Elton Loud's, Little Girls: A Short Story Novella, this book was recommended (which actually makes sense when you look at the style of writing). I can tell you, I am very, very pleased. I would honestly give this book 6 stars if I could. Must read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this book
This book reminds me of my mother. She was born in the same time, similar small town. I could just imagine some of these same things happening to her. Read more
Published 2 hours ago by Mary K. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars A heart warming, well paced, delightful read!
This was a terrific novel!! Get a copy for the beach or mountains or ??? but let yourself go! It's wonderfully written.
Published 2 days ago by Petey Malone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best novel I have read in a long time!
Published 6 days ago by Carol cicconi
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good read
Published 12 days ago by nancy thornton
4.0 out of 5 stars Deep, emotional, thought provoking.
Though dark at points and highly emotional, very thought provoking and well worth the read. I would recommend this book to emotionally stable readers looking to contemplate faith... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating coming of age story
This story is about a girl, Millie, in the early 1930's in rural Mississippi. She lives with her mama, Marie, and her father, Jack, who is rarely at home, which is a good thing... Read more
Published 24 days ago by grammyk
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Interesting characters, good story. Sad in some parts but good ending. I would recommend it as a good read for my friends.
Published 28 days ago by sylvia
4.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing in the beginning
I enjoyed the book but the beginning was a little disturbing to me. Glad that she was able to pick up the pieces of her life and continue with a positive attitude.
Published 1 month ago by Vivian
1.0 out of 5 stars Pure Rubbish
I thought this book was dreadful. It just lacked everything. It's just a load of drivle. How it got any ratings I'll never understand. Sorry but that's the way I read it.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it....
This is a really good read..it's main character, Millie, is worth getting to know. I would like to read more about her in a sequel.
Published 1 month ago by N. KOERNER
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More About the Author

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, Julie Cantrell was the editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review. She has been a freelance writer for a decade and has contributed to more than a dozen books. Julie and her family now live in Oxford, Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm.

A speech-language pathologist and literacy advocate, Julie was honored to receive the 2012 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and is working on a creative nonfiction book about her family's adventures as first-generation farmers. Her second novel is set to follow her bestselling debut, Into the Free (David C Cook) and will hit shelves Fall 2013.

Learn more:
Website: www.juliecantrell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliecantrellauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JulieCantrell














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