wpid-BlueStragglerCover_b06.4-front-only-W555H8501This charming story of a Texas girl moving to Colorado resonated with me like nothing I’ve read in awhile. That could be because so much of it mirrored my own journey to colorful Colorado. It took me by the hand and walked me  down memory lane for an afternoon.

From Bailey Miller’s personification of her periodic depression, RODA (Recurring Obstinate Dread and Anguish) to her co-dependent relationships with her family and friends, she has enough reasons to run for the hills. Following a particularly bad bout of decision making, she finds a connection with a not-discussed-in-polite-company great grandmother, and takes the opportunity to shake the south Texas dust from her boots and follow the family path to Gold Creek.

With very little plan and even less money, Bailey ends up depending on strangers and anonymity to scratch out a new identity, even shortening her name to just one initial, B, as if she’ll make up the rest as she goes along. She befriends a few of the Gold Creek locals, who each do their own part to convince her that she can be a whole and self-sustaining woman. This newly forged reinvention puts a distance between her ‘then’ and her ‘now’ that might as well be oceans. Which begs the question, once you leave, can you ever really go back home again? Do you live down to everyone else’s expectations or up to your own?

If you’ve ever randomly wondered what it’s like to move from the south to the mountain states, this is a pretty dead on illustration.

I laughed, fondly reminiscing, at her shock in the weather, how she still seems to find her fellow southern immigrants no matter how far from home she is, and the reaction of the locals to ‘Little Miss Texas’. Say y’all in public one time—you’ll never do it again. I also recognized her growing enchantment with the country. You make it hard to leave, Colorado.

Kathy Lynn Harris can be so completely accurate, because she’s lived it. As a Texas transplant herself, she’s gone native, but obviously, southern roots grow deep.

This is a perfect summer-afternoon-sitting-by-the-pool kind of read and that’s about all it will take. It’s a quick one, but well worth the time.

– Misty Kaiser