Do you have editor’s twitch? Because I do, and there are an awful lot of books out there at the moment that make me want to grab a red pen and set about them. I recently read a self-published book whose whole plot was ludicrous because it was based on a fundamental error of fact a few moments’ Googling could have cleared up. Even books brought out by established publishing houses get it wrong: at least one of the pony facts in the Chloe Ryder series is puzzling, to say the least. Thankfully, none of that applies to It Only Happens in Stories. The horsey background is excellent: the author obviously knows her subject, and it’s great to read something which has been carefully thought through, is technically accurate, and didn’t make me think “WHAT?????” even once: because that is pretty rare.
This is a short story (and be warned, it is short) about Clare and how she wakes up to what life could bring her. Clare and her best friend Nicky have just left school. Nicky’s the fortunate possessor of parents who have set her up with a yard. Nicky’s capable and driven, and she recruits Clare to work for her. To publicise the yard, Nicky decides to enter her horse Dizzy for the Rising Stars show jumping competition at Olympia. In the first qualifier, Nicky breaks her wrist, and so Clare steps in. The story’s told from Clare’s point of view: she’s fallen into working with Nicky, and then falls into riding for Olympia. Clare’s a bit of a drifter in fact, and this story’s about what makes her change, because she isn’t the same girl at the end that she is at the beginning. The fact this is a short story means there’s not a lot of development of Clare’s change, and it would be great to see more of this if the story turns into a full length novel, which there are plans for.
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Karen Bush: It Only Happens in Stories
Ebook, Kindle, £0.77
My review of The Great Rosette Robbery and Other Stories