The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

October 17, 2008

Book review: ‘Breaking Free’ a tale of love and loss

This round of reviews consists of titles I have read that caught my fancy. No theme this time, just a nice mix. Enjoy.

‘Breaking Free’

By Lauraine Snelling

Maggie Roberts received the maximum sentence in a drunk driving conviction that killed her 3-year-old son and the driver of the other car. A few months before her parole hearing, the prison partners with the Thoroughbred Heartland Foundation. The foundation takes retired racehorses and retrains them. Maggie is chosen as one of the participants.

Breaking Free is one of the first horses in the program. He is an abused horse that lashes out at anyone who tries to help. Maggie soon figures out that the horse’s violent reactions are to men. The behavior is an attempt to protect itself from the abuse bestowed on him by his former male trainers. Because of this behavior, Breaking Free may be put down if he can’t be controlled. Upon hearing this, the warden assigns Maggie as the horse’s sole trainer. With a lot of hard work, Maggie gets Breaking Free to follow commands and eventually teaches him to accept men.

At an open house showing off the work of the prisoners and the foundation, a young boy in a wheelchair takes a liking to Breaking Free. When his father, a local businessman, begins the adoption process, Maggie must come to terms with losing the horse and all the things that have kept her going during her sentence.

Snelling writes a compelling story of love, loss and forgiveness, particularly forgiving oneself.

‘The Adventures of Slim & Howdy’

By Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn with Bill Fitzhugh

I stumbled across this book while browsing the shelves one afternoon. I had no idea Brooks and Dunn, the most award-winning duo in country music, had written a book.

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