[DWJ] Horse fantasies

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Jun 24 06:07:50 EDT 2009


Jackie wrote:

>oooh, no I haven't, but I just went and looked her up and her books look
>interesting!  I'll have to check them out.

If you do, for the first book at least avoid the later editions, because
the rather interesting passion that the small brother has for salt (he
wants  to have it put in a heap on the edge of the kitchen table so he can
lick it, then wants "more salt boy!" so they divide the  heap in half
rather than giving him twice as much, and leave him "hppily bouncing from
one end of the table to the other") has been changed for some reason to
sugar, which is dull, dull, dull of them and  I can't think why they did
it.

And don't expect "pony books", because they aren't really about the horses
after the first one, or in a less obvious "girl wants pony, girl spends
book earning pony, girl gets pony" way.  They are about smugglers and a
fight against someone who wants to develop a local beauty spot and looking
for a stolen racehorse and being in a pageant and farming and rare birds
and oodles of other things as well, and often the horses are almost (though
never quite) a nuisance for needing to be groomed and exercised before the
children can get on with collecting jumble to sell and pay for retrieving
something that was given away to a junk dealer -- though the pony-trap is
useful for that.

Of the authors-for-children that I have read I would say the one nearest to
her style in many ways is Antonia Forest: similar believeable people with
real agendas and character and emotions, and adults who are allowed to be
more than just ciphers who have to be got out of the way so children can
have adventures.

>When I was about 17, I fell in love with K.M. Peyton's horse books, Fly
>By Night and The Team, and devoured them in the library when I should
>have been working and then grabbed up the "next" book in what I thought
>was a series... only to find out that the horsegirl had abandoned her
>horses (just about literally) and was obsessed with a boy--and an awful,
>icky abusive boy no less.  I was, to put it mildly, horrified.  I felt
>sullied.

I never enjoyed Peyton as much as I enjoyed Monica Edwards, perhaps because
I didn't like her people as much.  The ones that were not horsey at all
were better.  Pennington was hers, wasn't he?

>A bit tangential, I suppose, but the covers of the Monica Edwards books
>made me think of the Peyton books.

Depends on which edition: she has had several.

>Erm.... any speculation as to whether or not dwj read either author?
>(can't think of a better obDwj, I'm afraid).

She says not, and thank you for this:  it means that I can lend them to her
for  her to read in her convalescence later this summer.  I only have about
twenty of them but that ought to be enough to keep her going for a while
with amusement that isn't too demanding.

Minnow





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