“A young girl growing into adolescence confronts family abuse and a dark past in this lyrical debut novel. Millie Reynolds and her mother live in a ramshackle cabin in Depression-era Mississippi, occasionally receiving unwelcome visits from the violent family patriarch, Jack. With her only friend, Sloth, dead and gone, Millie struggles to find any happiness with a “nothing mama” and a ruthless father. Only the passing caravans of gypsies offer her any semblance of belonging. But when unlucky events engulf her, she discovers some surprising secrets that eventually help her hope in God’s love. Cantrell’s exquisitely written story immerses readers in a world that is as cruel as it is beautiful. From the opening lines to the very last sentence, the book’s magnetic prose bewitches and enthralls on every page. A visceral and gripping journey of a young woman’s revelations about God and self, this novel will surely excite any reader who appreciates a compelling story about personal struggle and spiritual resilience.”
- Publisher’s Weekly
“Cantrell’s words paint vivid pictures that bring Millie’s harrowing story to life. Riveting you to your chair, this story is a reminder that sometimes faith — real faith– is slowly built during the darkest moments of your life.”
- RT Reviews
“Julie Cantrell beautifully renders a vivid past, but her subjects are immediate and eternal—family secrets, love’s many losses, revenge and revelation, and finally redemption. Her characters may buck and brawl and bray against the notion of God in their lives, but there’s no denying He continues to send them into each other’s path, and Cantrell masterfully introduces them to one another in her wonderfully woven narrative. This book is full of insightful detail and wondrous turns, with an ending that moves in all directions through time like God’s grace.”
- Mark Richard, author of House of Prayer No. 2
"A beautiful and literary coming-of-age romance that is as close to perfect as I've seen in quite some time."
Serena Chase, USA TODAY
About the Author
New York Times Best-selling author Julie Cantrell was the editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review. She has been a freelance writer for ten years and has published two children’s books. She has contributed to more than a dozen books, and her first novel, Into the Free, hit shelves February 1, 2012 (David C Cook). In addition to writing the sequel to that novel, Julie was honored to receive the 2011 Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Artist Fellowship and is currently working on a creative nonfiction book about her family’s adventures as first-generation farmers. Julie and her family live in Oxford, Mississippi where they operate Valley House Farm. She is also a certified speech-language pathologist and currently teaches English as a second language to elementary students.