I just finished reading the novel “Free Trade” by Judy Eby and have to say I really enjoyed it. “Free Trade” is the story of Sandra, a wife to Dan, an airline pilot, and mother to Alex and Peter who have both left home for university. With her nest empty and her job as a school administrator not providing her with the fulfillment she is seeking, Sandra decides to take a year’s leave of absence.
Initially she does the things she never had time for before, such as guided hikes and water color classes. She is still seeking more though and becomes involved with a literacy programs that targets underprivileged youth in local communities. Along the way she meets Bruni, who is a doctor and joins her on a volunteer mission to a Tijuana community center.
The empty nest has also affected her relationship with her husband. As they both struggle to find a path through this new life they are living the foundation of their marriage frays. Things culminate when Sandra is trapped in a mudslide while in Tijuana.
This is a great story that really makes you stop and think about all the advantages we have here in the U.S. and how much we take for granted. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to make a change. Sandra is a very relate-able character who is well developed and experiences growth throughout the story. The side stories are well developed and add to the overall flow of the novel. This is a good, quick and meaningful read.