Sunday, September 1, 2013

When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell



When Mountains Move
This title releases today, September 1st. Let’s begin with the summary:

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.

And now, my review:

I enjoy reading first-person, present tense narrative. So, generally, I appreciated that aspect of this story. However, there were some point-of-view issues [for example, the main character cannot see the tears tracking down “the margins of (her own) face,” etc.]. And there were a few confusing aspects. I couldn't keep track of all the characters. The hero’s name is Bump. Odd. And we don’t get an explanation as to why others call him that, even by chapter four. Though, around the end of chapter three, we do learn his actual name: Kenneth.

Based on the summary, you wouldn’t know the dark secret, and I won’t divulge it, because readers will find out for themselves. But this book should come with a caution. I read Christian fiction because I prefer to avoid certain topics and descriptions as I read. I like to find hope. Even if the story begins dark, I know there’s hope. I didn’t find much hope here. Nor did I find much of a God-element in the early chapters. I understand contrasting hope with hopelessness and darkness with light. But I'd rather have the violence alluded to (off screen) rather than described, even by memory (on screen).

I didn’t find a likable heroine. I felt for her, sure. But I wouldn’t say that I became attached or even that I rooted for her. She was too confusing. It seemed I was dropped into action without all the facts needed to keep up or even catch up. Nor did I find her approachable. Again, she was too confusing for that. And though we were in first-person, present tense narrative, we were kept at a distance. Also, the main character's actions weren't always believable. Why does she so easily go where she’s determined not to, after what’s happened?

I didn’t get a strong sense of setting (outside of being told we were in 1943 at the outset) until the twosome took off in their 1937 pickup truck, which was around the end of chapter three or so. 

And I’ll confess. Once the author broke trust with me, (I had no idea how edgy this book was), I stopped reading. Even the unanswered questions weren’t enough. If the book would describe that (element that won’t be mentioned here), I certainly didn’t trust where future events might come up.

Generally, I don't write reviews for books I don't finish and/or enjoy, but this time, I felt I wanted to provide a caution. Another voice. I still wish this author and her publisher well. This novel just wasn't for me. 

No comments: