The Glory by Lauren St John
|The Glory by Lauren St John|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Really lovely equine adventure story with two great protagonists, a credible premise and lots of snippets of American history thrown in for good measure. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2015|
|External links: Author's website|
Alex is what you might call a disruptive teenager. She's always getting into trouble but the latest trouble is the worst yet and her mum and step-dad have had enough. Even her father, far away in Australia with his new family, thinks something must be done. So Alex is sent all the way out to the States to a teenage boot camp. But even naughty teenagers have their plus points, and Alex's is her love of horses. She'll do anything to save the mustang scout from the slaughterhouse.
Will lives in Colorado with his dad. It's been just the two of them since Will's mum died when he was very young. Will loves horses too, particularly his very own Shiraz, and dreams of becoming a vet. But then his dad has a heart attack and desperately needs surgery. But where will they get the money for it?
Enter The Glory, a 1.200 mile endurance race with a $250,000 dollar prize. Winning would offer both Alex and Will a way out of their current difficulties... but who will win? And what dastardly enemies - human or of nature - will stand in their way?
Oh awww. This is such a lovely story. It's exciting, too, and suffused with a love of horses and landscape. The inspiration behind it comes from the claim Frank T Hopkins, a legendary distance rider, to have ridden 1,800 miles across the US in just 31 days, way back in 1886. You can't imagine anything tougher or more romantic, can you? And St John makes her race both tough and romantic. It's a rollicking read and also a tremendously goodhearted one.
I liked both protagonists. Each has vulnerabilities but each has determination and courage in spades. And of course, as their friendship deepens, it gets harder and harder to compete against each other. Yet they both need to win very badly. The book also has some fabulous descriptive sequences in which the American landscape rises vividly from the pages and lots of interesting - and accurate - historical snippets.
If horse stories are your thing, The Glory is one of the best around. You will love it. But it has much broader appeal than that. It's a satisfying adventure and a pleasure to read and its protagonist duo will appeal equally to boys and girls. Lovers of both wildnerness environments and historical detail will also find much to enjoy. In fact, I'd suggest The Glory to any reader who enjoys a rollicking good adventure.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Glory by Lauren St John at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Glory by Lauren St John at Amazon.com.
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