Wednesday, 16 April 2014

PBOTD 16th April: Elizabeth Wynne - Heronsway

You get two pony books for the price of one today:  the Heronsway books, Pony Quest and Rescue Team were both published in 1989. That was as far as the series got. The author, Elizabeth Wynne, was a pseudonym used by the author Wendy Douthwaite. Under that name she'd already written several books for different publishers. She also wrote at least one title for the Animal Ark series: Donkey Derby (1999). The Heronsway books were the only ones based around an equestrian centre.

In the first book, Pony Quest, Sandy is the classic pony mad heroine: she longs for a pony of her own, and in particular, she wants Quest. She already actually has an owner, and Sandy shares caring for the mare in return for rides. She gets to have the mare on loan for a year at the end of the book, which we learn during what must be one of the cheeriest announcements of a parental divorce ever. Everyone is frighteningly well-adjusted. Stand back Ms Paltrow, the equestrian world was there way before you with conscious uncoupling.

Armada, 1989 1st edition
If you believed the blurb on the second book, Rescue Team, you'd think we get a well-worn trope, with a troop of children having to look after the stables when the owner is ill. It's all a bit more nuanced than that: you get an interesting build up before disaster overtakes the centre, with the emphasis on the normality of the children's lives, and their everyday summer holiday activities.

Armada, 1989 1st edition
It's a pity the books didn't continue beyond these two books. They're both very easy to find, and well worth a read. Both were published, for the first and only time, as Armada originals in 1989.

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 Here's the page on Elizabeth Wynne, and here's the one on Wendy Douthwaite.




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