The First Horse I See

Sally M. Keehn, Author Philomel Books $17.99 (215p) ISBN 978-0-399-23351-7
This tale has much to offer beyond the standard equine love story themes. Just as she did in the historical novel Moon of Two Dark Horses, Keehn quietly delivers a powerful emotional punch through empathic characterizations and a deceptively simple story line. Having been promised by her dying mother that she could have a horse, 14-year-old narrator Willo, heedless of her maternal grandfather's admonition, insists on buying the first one she sees: Tess, a bony and battered former racehorse. Seeing that Willo has little control over her potentially dangerous mount, her autocratic and hard-drinking father gives her a deadline to get Tess in hand. As Willo makes progress under the expertise of riding instructor Diana, her fierce commitment to Tess grows ever stronger, as do her feelings for Diana's son, Colin. But heartache follows soon on the heels of their first kiss, for he and his mother must flee from Diana's abusive husband. Keehn movingly illustrates the redemptive power of love, as well as the importance of letting go when love just isn't enough. Ages 8-13. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/31/1999
Release date: 06/01/1999
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 224 pages - 978-0-613-29957-2
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-698-11867-6
Prebound-Other - 215 pages - 978-0-606-19067-1
Prebound-Glued - 215 pages - 978-0-7569-0158-5
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