Sunhaven Downs, a drought ravaged cattle station in outback Australia, is the home of Dane, Lani and Matthew Winter, three young outback riders whose lives revolve around their horses. When their city cousin, Amy King, comes to live with them for a year and declares she hates horses, they know their year will be ruined. What they don’t know is that Amy has a secret – a secret she is desperate to keep from her outback family, something that will ultimately save their lives on the night the drought breaks.
I read this delightful book in an afternoon. I thought it was well written, although the “she didn’t realise that she would need this when disater struck” comments at the end of each of the early chapters were a little annoying. The plot moved along nicely with most of the actions staying within the bounds of reality. I found some of the “epilogue” actions a little unlikely, but hey, it all felt good!
I enjoyed reading this book although it is aimed mostly at the 10-14 year old market. It is well written, with a clear plot and good characterisation. The plot is outside the ordinary but is close enough to most people’s “real life” that it will be understood by the target audience (and they’ll all want to be Amy!).
Some of the episodes involve high drama and some difficult subjects. These are dealt with in a straight-forward yet senstive manner.
I was particularly impressed with Leanne’s portrayal of Amy’s emotional life. I thought Any’s reactions to events was very realistic and typical for her character.
The language of the book does not patronise its readers, and yet explains all the important parts to those who may not be familiar with them. This is a delicate balancing act well executed.
This is exactly to sort of book I devoured as a child and I’m sure will be loved by today’s children. It took me back to my chidhood when I hunted for new books in the “Brumby” series at my local library. I think I may have one or two copies (bought in the library sales) stowed away in my childhood book boxes. I may have to dig them out and read them again!
I may be persuaded to lend my copy of Horses of the Sun to my horse-mad neices! I shall look out for more books by Leanne.
I received this book after winning a Goodreads Giveaway. Thanks Leanne.
I’m claiming this book as No. TBC/150 in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge; and No. 3 in the First in Series Reading challenge..
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