Dec 25, 2014

It all began with A Horse Called Wonder

A Horse Called Wonder
by Joanna Campbell
Original Publication: 1991

Ashleigh wouldn't care about anything, ever again.
Ashleigh Griffen swore she'd never give her heart to another horse -- not after a terrible disease wiped out her family's breeding farm, along with Ashleigh's favorite mare, Stardust.
Now the Griffens are starting over as breeding managers at Townsend Acres, and Ashleigh's sure she is going to hate living there.
Then a small, sickly foal is born -- a beautiful copper filly that looks like Stardust. No one thinks the foal will live or that it's worth trying to save. No one but Ashleigh.
Can one girl's love alone work miracles?

There's not much I can say to add on to Mara's old review. If you're reading this blog, you've most certainly read A Horse Called Wonder, so you don't really need me rehashing the book. But since it's Christmas, and I'm feeling nostalgic (and it's cold out and I'm not ready to venture out to clear stalls yet) I thought it was the perfect time to look at the very book that brought us all together. Not really a review, just me rambling about some old book that somehow caught all our attention.

I don't remember how old I was when I was gifted with this book along with volumes 2-4 and a small number of Saddle Club books, but I'm fairly certain is was a Christmas gift. I ignored the Saddle Club books, instead devouring the four Thoroughbred books in about five days. I am now a full grow adult with the entire collection on my shelf writing on a review blog built on the back of this silly series of books.

Reading through this book after having read through the entire series is really something. Who remembers when Ashleigh had serious balls, standing up to the man who controls not merely the fate of the horse she loves, but her entire family's livelihood? The determination and guts she portrays in this book reminded me of why, as a child, Ashleigh Griffin was my hero. I pretended to be Ashleigh, raising Wonder, training her, racing... It's really quite amazing the way her character, more than any other in the series, was freaking neutered and fed stupid pills as the later plots demanded. Guys, go read the book again, Ashleigh is awesome.

I don't need to go over the plot for you all, you know it. Girl falls in love with a weak foal, saves her, etc. It's not a unique plot, it wasn't even really that unique when it came out. And really, not that much happens in this first book, but it sucked me in, as I know it did others. It founded a series that we've all loved, hated, and loved to hate. I honestly intended to write up a proper review, and maybe for the others I will here and there, but I find it hard to take off the nostalgia goggles on this one. Maybe it's that sappy Christmas spirit, but my snark well has dried up. It's a Christmas miracle, ya filthy animals...

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