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Breaking Free: A Novel Paperback – August 21, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This horse-centered romance by inspirational novelist Snelling (A Promise for Ellie) is tedious and not the author's best work. As it opens, Maggie Roberts is serving time in prison for an unnamed crime; although the details aren't spelled out until the end of the novel, most readers will put the pieces together long before. Maggie is enrolled in a new, experimental program that offers prisoners the chance to work with retired racehorses. Before she knows it, Maggie has helped rehabilitate a horse (not so subtly named Breaking Free), and she might be fast-tracked for parole, if only she can secure a job on the outside. Enter Gil Winters. Abandoned by his ex-wife, he's heroically raising a precocious son, Eddie, who, despite suffering from spina bifida, has learned to ride. Gil would buy Eddie his own horse, but he'd need to hire a caretaker for the animal as well. Throw in that Maggie's divorced and Gil is lonely, and the plot isn't hard to predict. Still, the characters have a bit of depth, and the tale of faith, forgiveness and starting over may find a readership with Snelling's many diehard fans. (Aug.)
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Review

"Snelling can certainly charm." (Publishers Weekly)

"Snelling's fast-paced novel has characters who seek help in the wrong places. It takes a raging storm for the for them to see that the help they needed was right in front of them the whole time. This is a strong, believable story." (-RT Book Reviews, ****, on Wake the Dawn)

"Snelling writes about the foibles of human nature with keen insight and sweet honesty." (National Church Library Association)

"REUNION is a captivating tale that will hook you from the very start....Fans of Christian fiction will love this touching story."
(FreshFiction.com on Reunion


)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446582085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446582087
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Breaking Free by Lauraine Snelling is a powerful novel about the power of healing and forgiveness. Maggie Roberts is almost done with her stint in prison for a tragic accident when she joins a group to help rehabilitate horses who have been abused. She has kept her feeling locked inside of her for seven years not caring for anything or anybody to keep herself safe inside the prison walls. But when Breaking Free, a former racehorse, comes in for rehab, Maggie finds her shell cracking open at the abuse the horse has suffered. The pain she has faced helps her work with the horse as they both learn to trust again. Gil Winters would do anything for his son Eddie who has spina bifida and is in a wheelchair. Eddie falls in love with Breaking Free, and to everyone's surprise Gil finds himself buying the horse and agreeing to let Maggie live at their home and train it. The opening chapters of this book were striking with their stark images of Maggie's life in prison and the work the prisoners do with the horses. I am not a horse person, but even I found myself moved nearly to tears by the healing to and by the horses. Eddie's basset hound Bonnie also makes a strong impression (I'm practically ready to run out and adopt one myself). It is testimony to Snelling's writing that she manages to make even the animals vital characters to the story without sacrificing their nature. This story has much to offer: great drama, romance and a strong Christian theme of forgiveness.
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Format: Paperback
One of the first favorite genre's I remember loving to read when I was a child were horse stories. Anything that evoked the love between the horse and his owner was enough to make me wish for a horse of my own. I don't think there were many young girls who didn't wish for a horse when they were younger. Now that same feeling came back when I read Lauraine Snelling's novel, Breaking Free. Breaking Free is a retired ex-racehorse who has been abused and is in need of healing and restoration if that is even possible. Thankfully for Maggie Roberts, who has been serving ten years in prison, this new outreach program of working with horses will be just the thing she needs to find her own personal healing from her past.

As she begins to work with Breaking Free to find a way into his broken spirit, Maggie realizes just how much this horse can sense her own insecurities. As she begins to earn his trust, she realizes that she has formed her own walls to keep others out from hurting her. She never imagined that one moment of coming to the aid of her husband would lead her to be involved in a car accident that would take the life of their own son. Feeling that serving time in prison is the least amount of punishment she deserves, it will take time and the love of a disabled boy and his father to help her come to terms with the mistakes of her past.

Knowing if she can rehabilitate Breaking Free, she will give him a new chance at life. If she can't convince the warden he doesn't present a danger to himself and others, he will be put down. But Maggie soon uncovers the source for the battle raging within Breaking Free's heart and the more time she spends with him the more she grows to love him.
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Format: Paperback
Breaking Free was a great book with a really good story! I liked all of the facts about training horses and how second chances were a major theme in the book. The characters were nice and I enjoyed the little bit of romance that was in Breaking Free.

Overall, a great book! I recommend it if you enjoy contemporary reads with animals being a big part of the story. :)

*I borrowed this book from the library. I was not required to write a review, but chose to. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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Format: Paperback
This was my first Lauraine Snelling book. Most of hers I noticed are series and I just didn't want to get into a series but liked the synopsis of this one with the horse therapy. Living in Wyoming horses are a big part of life and having been a piano teacher for 21 years many of my students have been involved with horse programs which teach them so much.

The book is a lot about redemption and forgiveness. There are several interesting characters. Eddie and Maria are just adorable and add so much to the story. I didn't like Gil so much in the beginning but guess he had redeeming qualities. I just felt sorry for Maggie and felt she was a damaged person who yet had a lot of strength. Though this is a Christian author, she writes at least in this book without a lot of preachiness. I read a lot of secular books so I enjoyed that there was not profanity and sexual scenes and just good values.

I felt the "crime" Maggie was sent to prison for was not quite believeable. For one thing 2 glasses of wine would be highly unlikely to put her over the legal alcohol level and anyone could run a stop sign even not having had one glass of wine. She was an upstanding citizen with never one offense against her. I had a hard time believing she would have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Of course then we wouldn't have had this story and it is fiction! The other thing that bothered me was the romance between Gil and Maggie. He didn't seem to like her and didn't even want her there and was very judgemental and even unkind to her and then all of a sudden, he's in love with her?? H-m-m

IF you can overlook those couple things and just enjoy the story, it is a good book to spend a few hours with.
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