Wednesday, 7 May 2008


17th jan 2011 -Well It's a very long time since i even thought about adding anything to here but I was inspired to have another go by a wonderful book i just read and on logging in found this post from 07/05/2008 which I had clearly started but never quite got round to posting better late than never they say!

I seem to have been having a really good run of of books at the min, infact the tbr pile is slowly diminishing at long last!

It all started with Gillian Baxter's The Stables At Hampton. Much as I enjoyed The Team From Low Moor and Bargain Horses, her other books although very readable (and I did enjoy them) just didn't for me have that special quality...that spark you get from a really good book, when you just want more and can't bear for it to end.

However The Stables At Hampton nearly blew me away, it was so amazing. It is somewhat unique that it is set in the world of dressage/high school , the only other 'English' book I can think of with a similar theme is Caroline Akrill's Flying Changes, which is rather dark in tone with a very unexpected ending.

The characters are strong and well thought out, and compliment each other beautifully. Also, as in all her books, they are very believable and don't lead madly 'exotic' lives! They show emotion, work hard for a living and suffer everyday worries and hardships just like the rest of us. Ginny's determination to get away from her old life and create a better future, not only for her but also for Flash, should be an inspiration to us all. Unlike in a lot of stories she had to work hard to achieve what she did and suffered many a hardship along the way, learning important lessons as she did. Also we saw how friendship, love and trust turned Tara from a hard driven loner into a more normal and rounded person, learning to accept help from others and pass on some of the burden rather than remaining the furiously independent lady we first met.

If I Could Ride Caroline Akrill

After searching for so long I am pleased to say it didn't disappoint. Caroline Akrill has a wonderful way with words. Her books are witty and humorous while remaining very real and her characters are simply divine! It was very fitting that Caroline returned to stud and helped it's reformation into a riding centre although the ending left me itching for more and (just with her Eventer's Trilogy) to know what happens next!

For sale Or Swop Alyssa Brugman

A modern Australian story about Shelby who comes from a poor unhorsey family but longs for more. She wants a fantastic flashy pony, like her friends at the Pony Club, and is convinced her kind and steady pony Blue is the source of all her problems. However with no money for a pony Shelby has to turn to an alternative means of finding a new which ultimately leaves her ponyless and Blue missing....

Her observations of teenage/adolescent life are spot on and she really draws you into young Shelby's world. Paragraph after paragraph, chapter after chapter this book is so absorbing and flows so beautifully that you do not notice the hours pass by. I am now eagerly awaiting the arrival of Beginners Luck.

Treasure To The East Patricia Leitch

Not a pony book and very different from my normal reading but enchanting all the same. Patricia Leitch has often added a fantasy flavour to her pony books but this one is pure fantasy through and through. It is the story of Darien's quest (even if he didn't know it) to create a new world/save the current world from the evil that is threatening to engulf it once and for all. It is a novel which can no doubt be read on many a level and I'm sure i did not read or understand it on the level which was intended but there is a strong message of keeping faith and triumph over adversity thoughout. It also goes someway to explain some of the mystical/Celtic influences that have appeared in her Jinny books, that to be honest I always found a little strange, much preferring the ones where the story centered more around Shantih and riding such as Devil To Ride and Jump For The Moon.

Prince Among Ponies Josephine Pullein-Thompson

Classic pony fiction at it's very very best. This one was an absolute pleasure to re-read (I read it as part of a reading circle), made even more pleasurable by finding that the armada pb I had loved as a child had been somewhat abridged and there were lots of extra snippets that further enhanced my love of the story.

I was also very relived to realise that I love it now just as much as I did then. Surely it's a very strong contender for one of the best loved pony books of all time?

Abby Malone Shelly Peterson

I first came across Shelly Peterson last year when a chance buy saw me with a copy of the excellent Dancer. I assumed it was a one off and thought nothing more of it until a few weeks ago i was enlightened.....

Abby Malone is in sorts a follow up to Dancer, defiantly not a sequel that title would really be reserved for Stagestruck maybe? But nether the less it is set in the same town and Hilary (Mousie) and Dancer do, albeit briefly, appear in the story at a couple of important points. Not strictly a pony story in the true sense, although horses are a strong theme throughout. Abby Malone is 14, her mother is an alcoholic and her father in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Needless to say, for Abby life is tough, her home life is non existent anymore and consists of caring for and covering up for her Mother and she has been socially outcast by her peers. Even her best friend Leslie is not really allowed to mix with her anymore. Sanctuary for Abby comes in the form of George Farrows QH mare Moonlight Sonata, her coyote Cody and Laura and Pete Pierson, who do everything in their power to make sure Abby is not alone in her journey......

Shelley Peterson is an outstanding author, her novels are gritty and absorbing and as with Alyssa Brugman her observations of adolescence/teenage life are excellent. You go through every high and low with Abby, sometimes on the edge of your seat and nothing but a happy ending will do!

Stagestruck Shelley Peterson

I have only just started this one and it is both a sequel to Dancer and Abby Malone if that is possible? Abby because once again the story centres around Abby (or at least it does initially), who is now 16. Her life is far less turbulent now, her father is home and Mother in a much more stable state and more excitingly than anything, Mousie James has asked her to ride the magnificent stallion Dancer while she is away.

Dancer because he is once again a central character in the plot of course we see the return of Sam Owens, still intend on getting his revenge....

Add to the mix a mysterious old theatre with resident ghost and you have another unput downable novel (even if it does sound a bit weird at the moment).