In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julie Cantrell’s lyrical and haunting debut, Into the Free, all Millie Reynolds wanted was to escape her toxic family, the poor Mississippi town she’d called home her whole life, and her life, period. In the sequel, When Mountains Move (Thomas Nelson), we catch up with Millie exactly where she always wanted to be: free—on the cusp of marriage to a man she loves and an exciting cross-country move to a ranch in Colorado.
But life in Colorado is not all a winsome adventure for Millie and her new husband, Bump. In the middle of a war and on the heels of the Great Depression, the newlyweds have only three years to turn the run-down ranch around. As with any rural enterprise, Bump and Millie also struggle with keeping their animals, and their family, safe and healthy. Then there’s the cast of characters who come with the ranch, including Kat, a neighbor who tempts Bump at the same time as offering Millie’s only opportunity for friendship, and Fortner, a good worker but someone also rumored to have murdered two people. And hanging over it all, the dark cloud of what happened to Millie only weeks before her wedding—a secret she’s vowed to keep hidden from her husband, no matter the cost.
Secrets have a way of surfacing, though. And this one does, in spectacular fashion, causing Millie to question if faith, hope, and love are enough to beat back the pain of her past.
Sequels are tricky beasts. It’s sometimes difficult for them to measure up to the allegiances a reader forms to the first in a series. However, When Mountains Move not only measures up, it stands true and tall all on its own.
Readers who weren’t satiated when they finished Into the Free will enjoy following along with Millie’s continued journey, and their reading of the first book in the series will provide welcome context and complexity to the experience of reading When Mountains Move. However, Cantrell so magically weaves a seamless story—without any redundancy—readers who find themselves introduced to Millie only as she embarks on married life in the second book will enjoy it fully and completely without having read Into the Free.
Cantrell paints her characters with an unrivaled depth of knowledge, understanding, and compassion and draws the wilds of Colorado in such detail that you can almost smell the horses’ sweet breath and snow-swept plains, can almost hear the delicate scream of a mountain lion. Her writing, along with the story itself, is measured and beautiful, heartbreaking and hopeful. It’s a story for anyone who wants to read about how love finds its way, no matter what. And isn’t that, really, every last one of us? When Mountains Move is now available.
About Julie Cantrell
Julie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling novelist whose work focuses on relationships and resilience. As a writer, teacher, and TEDx presenter, she aims to build empathy and connection while inspiring others to live their best life. Her debut novel, Into the Free, earned a starred review by Publishers Weekly, the Mississippi Library Association’s Fiction Award, and the Christy Award Book of the Year. It also was named a Best Read of 2012 by USA TODAY, while becoming an international bestseller. The sequel, When Mountains Move, was named a 2013 Best Read by USA TODAY, a finalist for numerous awards, and winner of the Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Her third novel, The Feathered Bone was selected as an Okra Pick by SIBA and Book of the Year by Pulpwood Queens. A finalist for three literary awards, including the Southern Book Prize, it won the Carol Award for Contemporary Fiction and earned a starred review by Library Journal, who also named it a Best Book of 2016. Perennials, her fourth novel, has been recognized as a top read of 2017 by Redbook Magazine, Southern Living Magazine, REAL SIMPLE, and USA TODAY HEA. In addition to receiving praise from Publishers Weekly and CBA Market Magazine, Perennials also has been named a Top Pick by RT Reviews and an Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance.
A certified speech-language pathologist, naturalist, and previous organic farmer, Cantrell has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review. She is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship as well as the Mary Elizabeth Nelson Fellowship at Rivendell Writers’ Colony, and she was named a 2017 finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award. A mother of two, Julie writes from her home in Oxford, Mississippi.
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