October 2012, Corgi
580 pages, Paperback
Themes: pony mad friends, life at a stables, family tragedy, risks of horseriding, getting attatched to a horse, troublesome horses, horse pregnancy and birth, trying to fit in, pony club drama and events, unexpected and realistic plot twists, some humour, a tissue or two is needed
Summary from Random House Children's Publishing
Rowan is desperate for a horse of her own - so when her father narrowly misses colliding with a dark, beautiful stray, she feels he was always supposed to be hers.
This has been the perfect read for me today, as I'm beset by germ gremlins. There is some gritty drama, but, just like real life, funny escapades lighten the darker moments. I love books where the characters live on a farm/stable and Rowan's new friends become like her second family. There are midnight scamperings around the yard, saving ponies from death, dealing with the emotional rollercoaster after huge, life changing events which derail anyone, adult or child.
It's a book full of hopes and dreams. Like life not all of them work out, but something good eventually does happen to Rowan and her friends. It was a real pleasure watching Rowan gain confidence in herself, something I found easy to relate to, especially when she doubted her decisions and needed external support to get through rough patches. This gets 9/10 because occasionally the writing didn't read smoothly and reasons for certain decisions were unnecessarily repeated.
You can find out more on K M Peyton's website.
I recommend an equally exciting pony trilogy by Victoria Eveleigh which starts with Katy's Wild Foal