The Language of Hoofbeats
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pub Date 12/9/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet.
Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry.
Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.
A special thank you to Lake Union Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Catherine Ryan Hyde delivers THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, an emotional story of regret, forgiveness and love. As always, Hyde explores non-traditional families, with flawed characters—offering a strong heartwarming message and takeaway of triumph over tragedy. Paula and Jackie Archer-Cummings are a legally married lesbian couple who have adopted one child, Quinn, and fostering Starr and Mando, plus dogs and cats. Pat is a veterinarian and her wife, Jackie is a stay at home mom. They are moving from their home in Napa Valley to a rural town in Northern California. Starr, their fifteen year old foster teen (has only been with them for three weeks), is angry and rebellious and when they move to the new location, she falls in love with the beautiful horse, Comet, who is owned by a neighbor. She feels he is suffering from neglect and is very protective. The neighbors, Clementine and Vernon had a daughter who died, Tina; Comet is the only thing they have left of their daughter. Clementine is an angry, nosy, bitter, narrow-minded, mean and miserable woman. She takes out her frustration on the couple and their children; complaining about their lifestyle and children, and demands them to stay away from her horse. Star takes Comet and runs away, and this of course, adds fuel to the fire, for Jackie/Paula, as Clementine is furious and they in turn, are concerned for their daughter. What happens during and after is a life learning lesson, which pulls everyone together. A heartfelt and poignant story with lovable and not so lovable characters. I enjoyed the relationship of Paula/Jackie and loved the J-Mom/P-Mom, hearing from alternating voices of Clementine and Jackie. A huge fan of Hyde, would recommend all her books, as enjoy how she crosses multi-generations, making her books appealing to all ages and crosses a mix of genres, from young adult, coming of age, women’s fiction, contemporary, LGBT, suspense, and family drama. If you enjoyed this one, would recommend Hyde's Take Me With You, one of my favorites!
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