Rating: 5 Stars
~ ~ ~Review: Julie Cantrell's debut novel, "Into the Free," left a lasting impression on me and created an enduring connection to Millie's story. "When Mountains Move" begins where "Into the Free" ends, and Millie's pain and questions about her future are immediately refreshed. Both novels have an weightiness that make them powerful and meaningful reads that I will revisit. Cantrell does not shy away from heavy subjects that will grab the hearts and attention of readers. "When Mountains Move" focuses primarily on the emotional and physical wounds inflicted on Millie by one man's evil deed.
After reading the story of Millie's childhood and teenage struggles, I wanted Millie's future to be smooth and bright - gently rolling hills rather than rocky mountains. It is clear from the beginning of the novel that Millie's path to happiness will not be easy. It is hard to believe that Millie is just seventeen and bearing such heavy burdens that quickly transition her from girlhood to womanhood. Cantrell portrays Millie's thoughts and feelings in rich detail, making her character even more gripping. The pain and doubt that weigh Millie down are raw and tangible. Told from first person perspective, it is easy to share Millie's questions about her marriage, her past, and her future. The questions pulled me deep into the plot and kept drawing me back until all was resolved. But still, the emotion of the novel lingers; and I am glad that Cantrell did not choose to give Millie a predictable and gentle journey to peace because the message would be lost.
"When Mountains Move" takes Millie out of the cultured south and into the untamed wilds of the Rockies. Cantrell uses the mountains symbolically to compliment the course of the plot. The imagery of two mountain peaks mentioned at the beginning and end of the novel is particularly memorable and brings Millie's journey full circle from bleak and desolate to strong and shining with promise.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C. Cook through Net Galley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Summary from David C. Cook: It is the spring of 1943. With a wedding and a cross-country move, Millie's world is about to change forever.
If only her past could change with it.
Soon after the break of day, Bump will become Millie's husband. And then, if all goes as planned, they will leave the rain-soaked fields of Mississippi and head for the wilds of the Colorado Rockies. As Millie tries to forget a dark secret, she hasn't yet realized how drastically those past experiences will impact the coming days.
For most of Millie's life, being free felt about as unlikely as the mountains moving. But she's about to discover that sometimes in life, we are given second chances, and that the only thing bigger than her past is her future.