cover image A Good Horse

A Good Horse

Jane Smiley, illus. by Elaine Clayton, Knopf, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-375-86229-8

Smiley returns to the territory and characters of her 2009 novel, The Georges and the Jewels, in this moving sequel. Opening on Abby's 13th birthday, the story centers on her relationship with her beloved eight-month-old colt, Jack (introduced in the last book), who Abby fears she may lose after her family's ownership of Jack is contested. The 1960s setting and the Lovitt family's ranch life (and faith) are visceral presences in the book. And when heartbreaking and very adult decisions need to be made, Abby's love of horses provides a steadfast anchor. Ages 11–up. (Oct.)