This was a really cool book. I figured that I’d really enjoy it because it’s a time slip. It goes back and forth between telling the story from the point of view of Allie in the present day, trying desperately to save the house her Grandmother wanted her to use to create a horse therapy practice, and then to her grandmother’s time in the 1930s-40s, piecing the story back together in chunks.
Dale Butler, Allie’s grandmother, had quite the story that she never shared with anyone in her family, and the pieces are revealed slowly, at good times, throughout the course of the two stories. You learn pieces either as Allie uncovers more information after her grandmother’s death, or as you’re told about it when the story shifts back to Dale’s point of view.
It was interesting to me that the author, Elizabeth Musser, chose to flip back and forth between first and third person narration. I find it can be hard to keep track of which timeline in while reading some timeslips, but switching narration POV really helped with that.
I also found it interesting that Musser wove in historical themes like World War 2, Polio, and the Depression, while mixing it with Covid in the present. Having Covid play a role in how the story would play out is kind of odd but also realistic, because it’s the world we live in. But when you set a book in 2020 and want the historicity of it to read as accurate, it’s a good idea (in my opinion anyway) to address Covid. I think Musser did it well.
I enjoyed reading about parts of Georgia and South Carolina that I’ve visited, so that was cool, too! And I learned a LOT about horses throughout the book!
Within the pages of this book, you will find intrepid characters who know what they won’t and won’t back down from it. Each suffers heartbreaks and losses, and they have to decide what to do with them and how much impact they’ll have on their lives. Dale (Nana Dale) has a saying that instead of asking God why when something goes wrong, we should be asking “what do you have for me here?” I found that to be personally challenging because I am a person who needs to ask why when things go wrong and who often gets frustrated when I can’t find an answer. I quite enjoy it when a fiction novel can give life lessons that stick with you even after you finish a book.
I really enjoyed this novel. I thought it was a bit slow to start out, but that may have been because I know so little about horses and the love of horses in both characters needed to be set up well… It’s hard to know… but regardless, it picked up and the book was well written. Musser tied all the ends together, in ways I wouldn’t have expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed it right to the end. I recommend this book 🙂
Book was provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. And Baker Publishing Group.