Diana Kimpton: There Must Be Horses
Paperback, Diana Kimpton, £6.29
Kindle, £2.56 Amazon.co.uk, Kindle, $1.23, Amazon.com, $3.99
Diana Kimpton's website
Thank you to the author for sending me a copy of this book.
Diana Kimpton is best known in horse circles as the author of the Pony Mad Princess series, of which I am a fan. There Must be Horses is her first essay into horse fiction for the older reader. It's only available (thus far) in Kindle format, but don't let that put you off. I have to say I am not a Kindle habitué, and if I get an e-book, it tends to take me longer to read, as I prefer your actual page to your virtual one. This book (file?), however, I finished in a day, and at the end was sitting with tears streaming down my face.
There Must be Horses is the story of Sasha. Her adoptive parents have given up on her, and when the book opens, she is off to yet another set of foster parents, for yet another temporary placement. She is now a hard-to-place child, too old to be cute, too spiky and difficult after a lifetime of constant rejection to make her an easy fit into a family. Her life has been reduced to a series of journeys with social workers to new foster placements, her belongings in black bin bags.
Sasha loves horses, but has had little to do with them, after a brief series of lessons while living with her adoptive parents. However, her new foster placement is at a stables which rehabilitates horses. Sasha is not the only wounded creature at Joe and Beth's stables. Meteor arrives on the same day as Sasha, too petrified of humanity to let anyone near him.
What makes this book particularly interesting is that it is not only Meteor and Sasha who are only able to reject any friendly advance: Beth and Joe have had problems of their own. Sasha's dearest wish is to stay with them permanently, and she cannot understand why Beth and Joe will not let her. She is desperate to make herself indispensable, and the book follows her attempts, crowned with both success and disaster.
This book is an interesting study in why we reject each other. It's completely gripping. It's a moving and observant look at a damaged girl and a horse, and of their at least partial healing. It is also an absolute bargain at £0.77.