Into the Free
David C. Cook Publishers
I don't even know where to begin on this book. I mean, we have barely been introduced to the characters before we see Millie's dad beat up her mom, Millie stand by helplessly as she watches a dog give birth to and then kill her own pups, and then, on top of it, her only friend dies. And did I mention that her dad also nearly cuts down her special tree? The latter seems almost silly next to the others, but all together it created a sum of complete depression and heartbreak. Honestly, it was one of those things you look at in disbelief and think, Who would write this?
I kept reading to see if it got any better, but when sixteen-year-old Millie started kissing some strange gypsy boy she'd barely met, I decided I'd had enough. I skimmed through the rest of the novel, but it only proved my overall thoughts on this book: it was depressing, filled with a few scattered theological statements I didn't like, and not worth my time.
I'm not going to lie and say the author didn't know how to write. Her actual writing was very, very good, with a mid-century classic feel reminiscent of something like To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, To Kill a Mockingbird deals with serious content as well, yet it didn't seem nearly so... dirty as in this book. There was something about Into the Free that completely rubbed me the wrong way.
I know that a lot of Christian fiction has the reputation of being fluff and sappiness, but really...this book was too far in the opposite direction. It went past deep into almost...disturbing.