Maggie Dana (author of the popular Timber Ridge Riders series) shows a new and exciting side of her writing with TURNING ON A DIME. The novel for youn...more Maggie Dana (author of the popular Timber Ridge Riders series) shows a new and exciting side of her writing with TURNING ON A DIME. The novel for young readers alternates chapters between the perspective of Samantha DeVries, who lives a life of horses and relative privilege and may become the first African American to ride in the Olympic Games (Sam is biracial), and Caroline Chandler, who lives a different life of privilege and horses (when she can escape the limits forced on young women of her time to be proper and refined) in Mississippi during the Civil War.
The girls are connected through the lineage of their beloved horses and they find out that they have more in common than they first think when Sam ends up time traveling to Caroline's world. Dana does an excellent job making the premise very believable, taking care of all the details that could trip up other stories of time travel.
Sam couldn't have picked a more difficult time to show up at the Chandler Plantation, as the Northern soldiers have just taken over the house and the Chandlers must travel by horse to New Orleans at a time when slave-catchers and soldiers abound along the way. When Sam gets taken captive, will Caroline be able to save her? And can they both keep from harm Caroline’s beloved horse, Pandora, who is useless to the soldiers since no one but Caroline can ride her?
The love of horses has brought people of different ages, races, and classes together for decades and it does the same thing for the two girls in a powerful way. The novel is a romping, page-turning ride through an important and tragic part of American history. There are many moving, shivers-up-the-spine moments in this book, as well as acts of bravery from the girls, a slave girl named Pearl, and a young soldier. It’s no surprise that Dana gets the horse details right, and she proves she knows the details of the South during the Civil War just as well.
In the end, Sam learns first hand about a period in history when being black was completely different from her own experiences, and Caroline learns that society’s rules, beyond just whether women should ride, need to be continually questioned and evaluated. Both girls also learn what it means to give of yourself and that they are stronger than they ever imagined. Theirs is a friendship that truly stands the test of time!(less)
Jill has worked hard to rebuild her life after divorcing her philandering husband. She has raised two sons, has her own graphic design business, good...more Jill has worked hard to rebuild her life after divorcing her philandering husband. She has raised two sons, has her own graphic design business, good friends, and a place in her Long Island community. What she's also worked hard at is burying her past including her first love and several painful family secrets. When she reconnects with her first love, Colin, on a trip to her native England, it sets off a perfect storm of past, present, and future. At first her reunion with Colin is fullfilling in every way, and Jill feels like she's making up for lost time and finally getting to feel what real love is. But Colin is not exactly what he seems. Jill has put all her trust in him and pays the price with her heart, her friendships, and her business. Will Jill be able to resurrect her life once more?
What I loved most about this book was that it was so real. Jill seemed like she might be my next door neighbor--in fact, I wish she were! I'm not at the same place in my life as Jill yet I could relate to everything she went through. She proves that a strong woman can still make mistakes. It's the fact that she can find her way past the mistakes that makes her strong.
Maggie Dana's story is seamless--the kind of writing I love where not one bit of dialogue sounds off-key and all the plot elements tie together in an authentic, yet often unpredictable way.(less)
A witty, clever page-turner with an original hero I could really cheer for! While reading I really felt like I could see this book as a movie. It woul...moreA witty, clever page-turner with an original hero I could really cheer for! While reading I really felt like I could see this book as a movie. It would be lot of fun to cast the various parts. If you're looking for a smart, exciting thriller, this is the book for you!(less)