cover image The Horsemaster's Daughter

The Horsemaster's Daughter

Susan Wiggs, Author Mira Books $5.99 (401p) ISBN 978-1-55166-534-4

In this antebellum romance, impoverished Virginia plantation owner Hunter Calhoun, who scandalized his neighbors by turning to horse breeding, has staked all he has left on an imported Irish stallion. When the horse arrives crazed from its sea voyage, there seems little choice but to destroy him, until Hunter learns of an eccentric horse trainer who lives on a nearby island. Hunter makes the journey only to discover that the horse trainer is dead; his only hope now lies with the man's daughter, Eliza Flyte. Raised in isolation, Eliza is an island ""wild child"" and equestrienne. Hunter is first drawn into Eliza's strange universe; later, after he convinces her to return with him, Eliza is thrust into Hunter's aristocratic world. She has no concept of Southern propriety: she runs around barefoot, speaks her mind and communicates with animals. As each struggles to adjust to his or her new environment, they are compelled to rely on each other. In poetic prose, Wiggs (The Charm School) evocatively captures the Old South and creates an intense, believable relationship between the lovers. Author tour. (Nov.)