cover image The Secrets of Emberwild

The Secrets of Emberwild

Stephenia H. McGee. Revell, $16.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-8007-4023-8

A horse trainer fights to save her family’s horse farm in this nimble historical from McGee (A Castle for Christmas), set in rural 1905 Neshoba County, Miss. Nora Fenton dotes on her two-year-old colt, Arrow, but Nora’s father reveals on his deathbed that the pedigree of the horses at the Fenton’s Emberwild Horse Farm might be based on a lie. After his death, Nora’s uncle, Amos, says his brother’s will leaves the farm to him and that Nora can only stay until she marries. Meanwhile, Silas Cavallero has long doubted the sheriff’s account of his father’s death 15 years earlier—which held that Silas’s father was accidentally trampled by his prized stallion, who was never found—so Silas investigates. He gets hired at Emberwild to train Arrow, and though Nora is miffed by his intrusion, they bond as they prepare Arrow for a race. Amos drives away Silas after he asks too many questions, but when Nora confronts Amos she learns a secret from her father’s past that changes how she sees Emberwild. The twists are predictable, but Christians will appreciate the conclusion’s upbeat message: “How like God to weave a pattern where men’s evil and tragedy could somehow be twisted into something beautiful at the end.” This charming if formulaic story has lots to like. (Oct.)