May 27, 2011
by Diane Lee Wilson
My first horsey read in ages! I had not heard of this book before finding it in a second hand bookshop a few days previously. What a stellar read!
Firehorse focuses on fifteen year-old Rachel, her struggles with her family and their beliefs that a stable is no place for a girl. While Rachel dreams of galloping astride a horse, her father holds her back and insists on her acting as a girl in the 1800s should. Be meek and submissive and cast a good impression for the family's rise up social ladders.
Then The Governor's Girl comes into her life. The Girl is a Firehorse, one of a team of four that pulls the fire engines around Boston. Close to death and badly burned, The Girl is a spirited, willful animal that would prefer to plant a hoof in the head of any human rather than
allow them to help her.
Through The Girl, Rachel learns that she does have a place: as a veterinarian.
Hey, look. I am not a fan of historical fiction but there is something special about this novel. It is more than the healing power of love a la many horse novels out there. *cough* Rachel actually has complex
relationships with her family (and the rather hunky vet) and has her own personal battles to win too.
The writing is fantastic. The plot complex and intriguing. It is so good, in fact, that I cannot be snarky about it. Read it and do not be put off by the setting. Any horse-lover will enjoy this one!