Length: 334 pages
Publication: 12/9/2014 by Lake Union Publishing
Source: TLC Book Tours
Synopsis: From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together–far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.
What I thought:
This book was just what I needed this week. Although I had never read any of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s fiction, I had seen (and enjoyed) the film version of Pay It Forward. As in that story, The Language of Hoofbeats features characters who feel true to life. They are complicated and often damaged but ultimately just trying to connect with those around them in a way that is meaningful.
The chapters in the book are alternately narrated by Jackie and Clementine, each of whom has a distinctive voice and a point of view which brings something to the telling of the story, making it richer and more complete. I liked Hyde’s writing style and the diverse, interesting characters she creates here–from a lesbian couple and their foster children to the closed-minded neighbor with her neglected horse . They each have something to teach the other, and Hyde lets them tell their story in a way that doesn’t feel forced or hokey, as it could have in the hands of a less capable writer.
Reading The Language of Hoofbeats was like relaxing into a warm bath. It’s a comforting, feel-good read that left me wanting to read more by the same author. Recommended.
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of 24 published and forthcoming books.
Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List. Jumpstart the World was chosen as a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards, received a third place Rainbow Award for Young Adult/Coming of Age Fiction and a tie for first place in Bisexual/Transgender Fiction. Love in the Present Tense enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the national bestseller list, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. Where We Belong won two Rainbow Awards.
Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries.
I’m giving away one copy of The Language of Hoofbeats to a lucky reader (U.S. or Canada only, sorry). To enter, just leave a comment with your name and email address. Good luck!
Thanks so much to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book and giving me a chance to share my review.