There’s Always Hope
Alice and Trent have been married for nineteen years and have two boys. Alice organises ladies days at church. On the surface it’s a perfect life but Alice is living a lie. Her life is far from perfect. Her life is crumbling around her. Alice is more concerned with appearances than with being open and honest. “Come on Alice, be real with me.” Alice has buried her head in the sand for the sake of appearances.
Breaking Free shows the power of good friends. Alice has many superficial friends but Beth is her true friend. Beth sees beyond Alice’s fake smiles to the real her. Beth refuses to be pushed away with a smile. “Why are you running from people who can help you most?… Why are you pushing God away?”
The novel explores the difference between activity for God and really knowing God. Alice has spent her life being so busy for God that she has lost sight of a relationship with God. When the chips are down, Alice finds she doesn’t know God. She has lost sight of Him in all her activities. “Do you trust Me? Will you turn to Me?” God, Who loves us will not let us go. Alice needs someone to point her back to God.
Breaking Free deals with the theme of the sins of the fathers visiting the subsequent generations, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Your father’s journey does not have to be your journey. There is grace that means we are forgiven. “Grace-filled recovery: breaking the bondage of addiction one step at a time.” Grace means we get a second chance at life. We need to accept grace and we need to extend grace.
The power of addictions is a theme present throughout the novel. Jennifer Slattery shows how easy it is for the downward spiral to take a hold. “When did drinking go from stress reliever to addiction?” In the words of a Casting Crowns song “it is a slow fade that gives your life away.” No-one goes to bed one night and wakes up addicted. It happens one step at a time. The addict may lie not only to others but to themselves, believing “I’m nothing like her.” They believe that they can easily stop but “are living a lie… crying out for life but settling for bondage.” Jennifer Slattery covers this downward spiral of addiction with great sensitivity, showing how the actions of one person can destroy families. But there is always hope. However we need to recognise our need and ask for help, and then be willing to accept it. “Are you climbing to the higher ground or are you clinging to the mud?”
This was my first novel by Jennifer Slattery and I really enjoyed it, finding Breaking Free a compulsive read. It was not always an easy read but it was a realistic one, showing that Christians have problems too. Life is not always rosy because you are a Christian but there is always hope. Hope in each other. And hope in a Saviour Who loves us. Jennifer Slattery does not shy away from hard hitting and impacting topics. An absolutely marvellous read.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.