Julie Cantrell is really a great storyteller. I get so into the characters that sometimes it's hard to read the book-especially when bad stuff happens to them! This book is the 2nd book in a series. I didn't read the first one, and kind of wish I had, so you might want to read Into the Free before reading this one. This book deals with a lot of tough/serious issues. It is definitely not a light or lighthearted read, but it is good. I think the first one will also be like this.
I was given this book by the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!
The story is set in the 1940s and the author has done an amazing job of writing a beautiful historical book. I appreciate the descriptions of Colorado in those days and made the story very realistic. It wasn't easy trying to start a new life in the rough terrain and our main characters will soon find out how much work is involved to start a ranch.
Millie is quite young when she married Bump Anderson. She is ready to begin a new life and doesn't mind the treacherous grounds they will have to travel to reach their destination. Millie has another reason to leave her old home that she hasn't told Bump about. What will happen when he finds out her secret?
Bump is a hard working man and is excited to take on the challenge of getting a deserted ranch back up and running. I loved the details of what chores were done daily to keep the ranch going. It was very hard work and I was impressed with Millie and her dedication to helping her husband's dream come true. I don't think I would want to go to a land and start from scratch trying to rebuild it. I did find her friend Kat to be most unpleasant. She sure has her eyes on Millie's husband and that really added some friction between the newlyweds.
When Millie's grandmother comes to visit Millie, I really enjoyed how her heritage was a focal point of the story. Her grandmother shared some wonderful stories about the past and described some of the Choctaw traditions. It seemed to really help Millie understand where she came from and how important her ancestors were. I loved the descriptions of their culture and I could picture Millie sitting in awe as Oca shared memories. When Millie has a very hard decision to make , I could feel her despair and pain. The author did a great job of talking about a very hard subject but did it with grace and showed the struggle that women go through when faced with this decision.
What does Millie decide to do ? Dies she make the right choice?
The book is a wonderful journey of newlyweds starting out, their struggles and the lessons they learn as they grow in their faith and learn to trust each other. The secret that Millie has hidden from Bump will be a huge shock and I loved how the author shared the pain and hurt that the secret had caused. If you love historical fiction with a powerful cast of characters and reading about the challenges they face this is the book to get. There are several characters I didn't mention but you will discover how they are intricate to the story about second chances , trust and unconditional love.
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild for an honest review.
A good story of life, love, secrets and forgiveness. A young girl marries and moves to Colorado to start a new life with her husband. She carries a big secret that she fears will threaten her marriage. In time, she is forced to tell her secret. This story also includes traditions of the Choctaw Indians that are very interesting.
When Mountains Move (Cantrell, Thomas Nelson, 2013) was given to me by the publisher in exchange for a fair in impartial review. It is a story written in the first person featuring a young girl recovering from a violent attack and adjusting to a new marriage.
While I have a little trouble sketching together the timeline of events, Millie joins the rodeo shortly after her parents' deaths. She is staying with a well-to-do family when the man of the house attacks her. Somewhere along the way she's met Bump who falls madly in love with her and asks her to marry him. She is of Choctaw descent and eventually meets her grandmother who teaches her much about her Native American heritage. Unfortunately, Millie chooses to carry alone the secret of her attack and therefore is very slow to recover from it. She only admits the crime when confronted again by her attacker. She and Bump work through all of the newlywed adjustments as well as a neighborhood seducer, accused murderer living with them, mountain lions on their Colorado ranch and a new baby within the first year of marriage.
I'm afraid I read the first-person narrative a little too much like the Joe Friday narration of Dragnet. Therefore, I missed a lot of emotion. I also failed to get a good image of either Millicent or Bump, which might have been gleaned from a third-person voice. However, the story drew me in and I truly wanted to see the outcome of it.
This is a work of Christian fiction, published by a major house in the Christian Book Association. Millie spends much time in prayer, especially when she's in trouble. She has apparently had some biblical teaching from her mother as she recalls in the final pages her "mother's idea of being 'born again'". Unfortunately, despite meeting the local clergyman in her new town, she never has a rebirth experience at least not one where she hears God's word and understands it and sees its application in her own life. Instead, the book ends with her Choctaw grandmother performing a traditional cleansing ritual in their home and where she gives "thanks to the spirits of each direction" in order to "[rid] the home of bad spirits". The book closes with, "Somehow, whether through smoke or through song, passages or prayers, I believe our message gets through. We forgive. We are forgiven."
Personally, I read fiction as a kind of escape from the troubles and burdens of our world today. That's probably why I most enjoy historical fiction. But my basic belief that we are saved from our sins by grace through faith in Jesus Christ is the strongest factor in choosing titles. I am not comfortable with religious pluralism and despite a good story, I cannot recommend writing that might lead you toward that belief that all roads lead to God. Therefore I regrettably give When Mountains Move only two stars.
Cantrell is a strong voice in the Christian fiction market whose first book Into the Free won two Christy Awards, and who now returns to complete the story with When Mountains Move.
This novel set in the early 1940s takes up exactly where Into the Free leaves off. Seventeen year old Millie (Millicent) has decided she will marry Bump (Kenneth) and leave with him to run a Colorado ranch for Mr. Tucker. She's put aside any dream of reuniting with the young gypsy boy River, but cannot quiet the nightmares that remind her of Mr. Miller's cruel attack. As the young couple work tirelessly to restore the long abandoned buildings on the ranch and prepare it for the cattle and horses that will soon arrive, Millie finds herself pregnant. Wishing she had told Bump about Miller's attack before their wedding, she tries to hide her pregnancy as long as possible. Shortly after their arrival in Colorado, her grandmother joins the young couple in their rough new life, and Millie begins to learn more of her family history, including the generational violence that haunted her childhood. When a beautiful neighbor seems to be seducing Bump, Millie wonders if she will ever have a chance for a happy life.
There was a six month interval between reading INTO THE FREE and this title, but Cantrell so successfully plunged me back into the story that I quickly remembered Millicent's troubled and emotional story. Mountain lions, a ranch hand with a mysterious past, memories of the gentle gypsy, an unwanted pregnancy, and tales of her Choctaw heritage all add to this rich story of a young, struggling marriage. Find copies of both books and read them as one story. You will not be disappointed. I received a copy of WHEN MOUNTAINS MOVE from BookLook for review purposes. All opinions are mine.