Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley

From TheBookbag
Jump to navigationJump to search

Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley

Buy Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley at or

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The love of and knowledge about horses and ponies shines out from every page. Probably the best fictional book about horses which I've ever read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: June 2010
Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 978-0571253548

Share on: Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Instagram

Abby lives on her family's farm in California. They specialise in taking horses and ponies which are not at their peak and bringing them on so that they can be sold at a profit. Abby's father is determined that she won't get attached to any of the horses, because that only increases the pain when they inevitably go, but two are going to make an impact on her that she could not have expected. The first is a foal whose dam dies when he's a matter of weeks old and he takes Abby's heart. The second has the opposite effect because every time that Abby rides him he's determined to buck her off. She's frightened of him and it's a tribute to Abby that the worst she calls him is Grumpy George.

Grumpy George isn't her only problem though. There's an atmosphere of tension at home after the departure of Abby's brother Danny. He and his father are both strong characters and Danny left home after a fight. Abby misses him dreadfully and not just because Danny would have ridden the more spirited horses. A child can ride that horse is what dad uses to say to prospective purchasers. Now he points out that a young girl can do it. School's no better either: the Big Four (every year has a similar group) has ganged up on Abby and her friends and she's feeling lonely and confused.

If you know a young girl with a love of horses, just go out and buy this book, OK? The love of horses, knowledge about them and understanding of them is there on every page. It's probably the best fictional book about horses which I've ever read and although it's aimed at the nine plus age group I'd say that you could put the upper age limit at about a hundred and nine. As an adult well above the target age group I couldn't put the book down, simply because it's all so believable. Nothing which happens in extraordinary – it's just a wonderful tale of how normal life turns out and about what's important in it.

Highly recommended.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

If you like this book you will love Chancey by Gigi Amateau or Jinny at Finmory: The Summer Riders by Patricia Leitch.

Please share on: Facebook Facebook, Follow us on Twitter Twitter and Follow us on Instagram Instagram

Buy Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Nobody's Horse by Jane Smiley at


Like to comment on this review?

Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.