Finished May 31
When Mountains Move by Julie Cantrell
This novel begins in Mississippi, but is set mostly in Colorado. It is the spring of 1943 and young Millie is about to be married to Bump (Kenneth) Anderson, but has reservations. Not about Bump, but about herself. Something happened to Millie recently that has affected her trust in others and how she reacts when a man touches her.
Millie marries Bump in happiness and the two move forward to a future in Colorado where they will manage a ranch for Cuay Tucker. Millie has a natural affinity with horses and Bump has recently qualified as a veterinarian, and both are hard workers, so they are perfectly suited for their new lives. When they arrive, they find a small welcoming town not that far from the ranch that is their new home. There is an older man, Fortner, who is the son of the original ranch owners and who is looking to work at the ranch again. There is Oka, Millie's newly found grandmother, a Chocktaw woman, who comes to help in the ranch's early days.
As Millie learns the nature of this new landscape, and makes a home for her family, she also finds a way to come to terms with what has come before and move forward in strength and hope for a future.
Millie epitomizes the pioneer spirit, adventurous and hardworking and willing to see the best in others. The life she and Bump lead in Colorado is one that sets them on the path for a better future than either of them grew up with. This is a novel of hope and positive outlook in the face of adversity. I liked the inclusion of positive native culture here as well, respecting the hardships dealt to them and the traditions they observe.