Sudden Freedom

Home is where the Heart is

Fiction - Literary
114 Pages
Reviewed on 09/03/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

Sudden Freedom: Home is Where the Heart Is forms the final book in Joseph Woodward’s trilogy, Lost between the Continents. Ernest Woodward’s family has grown on the shores of the Ohio River in America. Putting aside the trials of his childhood, Ernest focuses on the triumphs of his life. Ernest’s sister, Flossie, remains in England, working alongside their father, Malcolm. However, regardless of how much distance or time passes by, some things never change. Ernest and Flossie’s stepmother, Catherine, once again raises her ugly head, threatening to seize Malcolm’s company and estate. In the midst of the darkness of Catherine’s evil intent, Malcolm finally sees the light and confides in Flossie. Flossie writes to Ernest asking her brother to return to England to protect their father and his business against their scheming stepmother. The estranged family reconnects, building a bridge from America to England, restoring all that was once lost. Together they right the wrongs, and become a family once again.

Joseph Woodward outdoes himself here. Sudden Freedom is the best of the three books in the Lost between the Continents series! Sudden Freedom is a novel rich with familial love, portraying relatable characters that overcome and unite, using their unique gifts to make a difference in the world. The novel is personable, you really get to know the characters and understand the ties that bind the Woodward family together. In this final installment, the main character, Ernest, comes full circle. The lost son returns home, not as a prodigal son, but as a successful and sensitive hero. Yet, he is not the only one who escaped or was trapped by the wiles of the antagonist. Each member of the family comes to terms with their abusive childhood and is set free from the emotional bondage Catherine imposed on them. Joseph Woodward recreates his family history, revealing the integrity of spirit, and the will to not only survive but rise above tragedy and heartbreak. Sudden Freedom reveals the power of legacy; one man’s visionary hard work is bequeathed to future generations. It was a pleasure to get know the Woodward family.

Tracy Young

Sudden Freedom: Home is Where the Heart Is by Joseph Woodward finds Ernest Woodward in America, faced with a decision. His sister has requested that he return to London and help his father solve a family conflict. Meanwhile, in London, Malcolm and Catherine seem to have reached an impasse in their turbulent marriage. The eldest son Charles and the two older girls have left the family home leaving just the twin girls to bear the brunt of Catherine’s bitterness. Ernest returns and reconciles with his father and finally faces the woman who drove him from his home. Expecting to feel anger and hatred, instead, Ernest is overcome with conflicting emotions as a parent himself. He realizes that Catharine had to protect her five children and as such did whatever she could for them. With Catherine gone, the children band together with Malcolm to expand the business and find a whole new horizon to explore. As they forge new bonds the family continues to thrive, and a sad loss only serves to make them even more united.

And so, the story comes full circle. It has been a privilege to be welcomed into the world of the Woodward family and be privy to their story. Joseph Woodward once again takes the reader on a spectacular journey. Filled with inspirational characters Sudden Freedom: Home is Where the Heart Is completes the saga of Malcolm and his extended family. Hard work and innovative thinking ensure that the Woodwards leave their mark not just in England but across the world. Ernest and his family leave you with such hope for the future and I hope to catch up on their exploits very soon. How lucky we are to be able to enjoy this amazing story told by a natural storyteller. Catch up with the story and visit the website; you may even receive a bagel for your efforts!

K.C. Finn

Sudden Freedom: Home is Where the Heart Is by author Joseph Woodward is another work of literary fiction based on real-life events. In this final novella-length installment, we continue the harrowing and incredible tale of the life of ancestor Ernest Woodward, in the aptly titled ‘Lost Between the Continents’ trilogy. In this final segment, Ernest is doing well in the cattle business in America, but news from his sister back in England calls him to action. His wicked stepmother intends to take the family business from their ailing father, so it’s up to Ernest to return to London and set things right, settling down the demons of his past once and for all.

This is by far the most dramatic and emotive of three very heartfelt accounts of the fascinating transatlantic life of Ernest Woodward. Having once embarked to the other side of the pond to get away from his family life as a boy, it was harrowing to see Ernest return, and author Joseph Woodward is highly sensitive in the emotional portrayal of what that reunion represents. Ernest is truly a man, his life coming full circle, and that is reflected in a new confidence of narrative skill, Ernest’s compelling dialogue, and his general take-charge attitude despite his feelings. Both England and the States are well researched for the period in history, especially the legal and business sides, which were also fascinating to learn about. Overall, Sudden Freedom: Home is Where the Heart Is truly ends the trilogy in the best possible way.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Family is important, especially to Ernest Woodward. For generations, his family worked together, built a successful business together, loved and fought and forgave, but through it all, they were still a family. Ernest spent his life recovering from the rejection of his father after his father remarried. His early disappointment didn’t make him bitter or resentful. Instead, he used what he knew was right; that with a positive work ethic and good family values, he could succeed in life. He instilled in his family this strong sense of good work ethics and family values, a trait that was passed down through the generations. And, when his father suffered later in life with business and marital issues, Ernest was more than willing to return home to England to help. He had forgiven his father years ago and he was anxious to reacquaint himself with the man he had never stopped loving.

Joseph Woodward’s creative memoir, Sudden Freedom: Home is Where the Heart Is, makes the third and final installment in his trilogy, Lost Between Two Continents. Like the first two books, this novel continues to follow the life of the author’s ancestor, Ernest Woodward. Leading the reader through the Woodward family's trials and tribulations, the author brings the family, now on two continents, together through good solid business acumen and forward-thinking. Whilst the antagonist -- the step-mother who tried to take everything, including a father’s love for his children -- continues to wreak havoc, Ernest and his sister Flossie, as well as their step-siblings, bring the family closer together as they bond to make the family business a success on both continents. The power of family connections flourishes with renewed vigor as Ernest, with his children and grandchildren, connect with the family across the ocean. This is a powerful story of redemption and family honor and the good values that were passed on from one generation to the next and continue to flourish even today.

Rabia Tanveer

Sudden Freedom: Home Is Where the Heart Is by Joseph Woodward is the continuation of Ernest’s story as he has made the hard decision to go back to London and help out his father. Happy with his children and their little families, Ernest is now a grandfather who is at peace with his life. But when his sister Flossie - who raised him - asked for his help, he knew that he would not be able to deny his past any longer. Upon her request, Ernest makes the hardest decision of his life and journeys back to his roots where he has to confront his past, his old worries, and try to find a way to salvage his father’s business. Can Ernest make peace with his father who was pretty much non-existent in his life, especially when he needed him the most? What will he do when he meets his stepsiblings and stepmother again?

This is such a satisfying conclusion to Ernest’s story. His life really came full circle in this novel. His progress and his growth were phenomenal; he made the tough decision to leave his peaceful life behind to confront his past and try to make peace with his father. Along the way, he rediscovered himself and found himself in a different light. He had a new appreciation for his children and his wife, especially after forming a relationship with his stepfamily. I especially enjoyed how welcoming and peaceful the atmosphere was. There was finality to everything; even the pace was leisurely to make it a somewhat soothing experience. The author has done a wonderful job with this novel and I can’t wait to read more from him.