A horse for Kate

Horses and Friends (1)
Author: Miralee Ferrell
David C Cook
Published: 01.03.2015

Amazon.co.uk || Waterstones.com

As much I wished to enjoy this book it did fall flat for me. The premise of the story was very promising: a young girl moving to a new place with her parents and autistic brother, and she find a horse abandoned in a meadow.

Though the premise of the story, where Kate searched for friendship in a Latino heavy community where her white skin is frowned upon, the story fall flat as the writer doesn’t attempt to create characters but rather create puppets to preach through.  Kate never does anything wrong, she has a good dialogue with both her parents and she cares a lot for her brother. Nothing is wrong with having a good family with good relationships, but by making the family perfect (expect from financial struggle) takes away from developing real and believable characters. Obstacles comes into the way, but they also solve themselves without much suspense, which brings me back to say that the book is preaching. There is nothing wrong with a book holding up christian values, but there is a fine line between upholding a Christian moral and preaching. This book crossed far over in preaching-land: “Just do everything that is right, and everything you want will fall down in your lap.” The story would have been much more interesting and probably more entertaining had it not been so important for the author to be “political” (or rather “religiously”) correct throughout every page.

Another thing that was bothersome was the authors tendency to dump information on the reader, as well as having too wordy dialogues that over-explained everything.

Also the approach to horses in the book was uncomfortable. At more than one instance it is described how you can never trust a horse. My suggestion is: if you don’t trust the animal, don’t try riding it. I have been an active rider from a young age; a horse rider relationship is built on mutual trust and respect, not force and discipline.
Also, the pony that Kate complains about in the book is a large category II pony, a thirteen year old would not have complained that it was “not a real horse,” It is about 11 centimeters shorter than a horse. But that might be the single character-trait Kate has that makes up any conflict at all in this story: She complains if anything falls short of what she had in mind.

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