Breaking the Ice by Mandy Baggot

Breaking the Ice
Mandy Baggot

I won this book in an email competition and I’m glad that I did!

Seeing past the spelling and punctuation, the story flows and the lead characters are easy to identify with. Their humanity comes across quite early on in the story.  Samantha is a wonderful character and although she controls her life to the nth plus one degree there are times during crises when we get to see the real ‘Sam’ when her strength comes shining through.   Having been a panic attack sufferer I can easily understand the triggers for Samantha and the irrationality they bring with them.  It was refreshing to see this topic and for readers to see that Samantha is still able to live a life and soldier on regardless.  Her down-to-earth character and vulnerability makes her likeable and her loyalty is an inspiration!  Sister Chloe comes across as her alter ego but I do wonder what depths are hidden in her personality – after all, Jeremy appears to be a ‘stayer’!

The storyline is believable – the star of the ice show, Jimmy, is an ex-alcoholic who is learning new ways to look at life, the Civic Hall manager, Dave, who is a sleaze and doesn’t care about anyone but himself, a council that is more focussed on budget cuts than history and community – and not forgetting the stray cat, Gobby, who makes extra work for everyone.

I loved the way Baggot used ice skating as a bridge which can almost be seen as meditation in action.  We all need one place where we can let go of life and what is expected of us and for Samantha it is on the ice.

If you follow @mandybagott on Twitter or follow her blog you will know what a sense of humour she has – this came through strongly in Breaking the Ice.  At times I had to stop reading to have a chuckle to myself.

This love story will effect you emotionally so be warned!  The laughter and the tears have me concluding it was time well spent and served it’s purpose.  I feel like I have been on a journey alongside the characters and that life is certainly a brighter place.


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