Into the Free: A Novel - eBook  -     By: Julie Cantrell
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Into the Free: A Novel - eBook

David C. Cook / 2012 / ePub

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Product Description

Young Millie Reynolds longs to be free of shameful secrets. Turning away from her abusive father, she finds acceptance when a band of gypsies travels through town. But when tragedy strikes, Millie joins a prominent family---and discovers painful truths about her background. Will she find healing in the love of the God she thinks abandoned her?

Product Information

Format: DRM Free ePub
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2012
ISBN: 9780781408004
ISBN-13: 9780781408004
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's 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.

Author Bio

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.


 

Publisher's Weekly

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. Agent: Greg Johnson, WordServe Literary. (Feb.) Copyright 2011 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

"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

Product Reviews

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  1. kathae
    Front Royal, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Amazing book!
    April 23, 2014
    kathae
    Front Royal, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    This book affected me so deeply, it is hard to put into words. Millie is a young girl that, at first glance, would be easy to forget. She lives in poverty, her father is never around, her mother is abused and doesn't take care of her. But Millie is strong. She gets good grades in school and makes positive relationships with her teachers and the librarian. And that strength is what makes Millie unforgettable.

  2. debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    December 20, 2013
    debwilson
    Summerfield, FL
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    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, Julie Cantrell has created Into the Free—now a New York Times Best Seller—a story that will sweep you away long after the novel ends.

    My Review:

    This novel is absolutely amazing. It took my breath away to think that one person could handle this much abuse and survive. The secrets she hides because she is ashamed of her past is just so sad and just broke my heart to read about. When she experiences her first love I couldn't help but cheer for her and want the best for her. And when she discovers why her life is the way it is, she desperately needs God on her side to help her break the cycle of abuse and sin in her family.

    Cantrell wrote a novel that will shed light into the human condition, and if you've even walked a mile in Millie's shoes, I recommend this book as a work that will greatly encourage the healing process. Quite surprisingly, I understood Millie's point of view more than I ever thought possible. I wanted to reach out to her somehow and tell her that with God's love everything that ever went wrong in her life could be salvaged and she could be free form her past forever. A wonderful story of the power of forgiveness, and what it means to come out of the other side.

    This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.

  3. lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 8, 2013
    lcjohnson1988
    Indiana
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
    As I was reading page after page, I kept ruminating about what the author was trying to convey in the tale. When I came to the end, all the pieces fell into place for me, and I realized the message was veiled on purpose. Sometimes when the end comes and the theme or message is unveiled that is also when the joy of having read the book can be realized. Perhaps other readers catch on quicker to what the message was, but it took me till the end and I was astounded.
    The story is told from the point of view of a young girl growing up in a less than idealistic home life. Instead of being cared for, she ends up being the caretaker of her mother for most of her early years. Inside her heart she is searching, but for what or whom Millie is not quite able to put her finger on it. Through other background characters and life experiences she sees life as trying to make sense of what is seen from afar.
    Years later in a year that totally changes her life, she dares to hope and dream of finding her deepest heart’s desire fulfilled. The people she tries to trust and let them know her aren’t able to get any closer than what Millie determines is safest. When Millie’s world is again rocked by an event that will forever be a part of her memories, she wonders if the future will be a mirror of either of her parents.
    I don’t want to take away the joy of the journey in discovering the meaning or theme, so I’ll not write any more about the plot. As you read, what speaks to you may not be what spoke to my heart and that is another reason for not revealing some other pieces of the book or characters. What I can say is that it truly reflects one message we all need be reminded of…that no matter what happens to us this side of heaven we have choices. We may not always know why we have had a particular tragedy or surprise come along, but really that isn’t where our eyes should stay fixed. There is more going on around us that is unseen than seen.
    When Mountains Move is the sequel to Into the Free, and I will review that novel soon too. I can’t wait to see what continues to happen with Millie’s saga. Into the Free is a special novel for me as it speaks to my heart about the path we are on this side of heaven, as well as the need for leaving behind us words that others can read that might just lead them to God.

  4. ShirleyD
    India
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    October 23, 2013
    ShirleyD
    India
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3

    It sends out the message of God's love adequately.

  5. Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Love Song to Hope...
    October 14, 2013
    Sufficient in Jesus
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5

    I really wanted to read this book... and I'll admit that part of it was the cover.
    There's something lonely and soul-stirring about it. The cover of Into the Free features a single figure walking along a dirt road with fields on the side. It is a Southern environment, with flower blossoms around the edges. She is setting off into the unknown, shoulders squared, and she is carrying a heavy bag that weighs her down.

    The other reason I knew I had to read this book was the reviews: I had heard that this book dealt with powerful themes. That Into The Free is the kind of book that helps you grow though the reading of it, that in this story you to meet people that never leave your memory, and that you will want to know both God and your fellow man better after your reading journey.

    Those statements about this book are true.
    Into The Free is the sort of book that leaves me asking "How does the author do that... how does she write so well that some parts of the book hurt to read, and some parts fill you with hope?"
    What a gift Mrs. Cantrell has! When I opened the pages of this book, it was like opening the very door to Millie's world.

    And Millie's world overwhelms me when I think about it: such a young girl navigating a youth of storm clouds and pitch-black swirling waters that threaten to drown her, the way they seem to drown her mother and father.
    Millie loves her mother, and tries her hardest to love her father, but she is just a child and can't carry those burdens by herself! She can't understand what made her family the way it is.

    A moment surrounded by joy and acceptance comes from the Gypsies that return to town every year. An old Babushka gypsy and a young man named River both draw Millie... and both have so much life in them. Their life spills over into Millie.

    In the author's note, Julie Cantrell said that Into the Free was her love song to Mississippi. I found that fascinating. That is a perfect description of what she created when she wrote this book. A love song spun around a place and a time and a young girl living and growing... and most of all the process of healing.

    Thank you to David C Cook Publishers, to Karen and Lisa, for sending me my copy to review!

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