Jenny's Reviews > Flambards

Flambards by K.M. Peyton
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** spoiler alert ** Orphaned heiress Christina Parsons is passed between relatives on a regular basis. But at twelve years old, she is sent to live with her crippled uncle and two cousins at Flambards, a decaying estate where the horses are treated better than any of the other inhabitants.

Her uncle is bitter and cruel, devastated by the loss of the fox hunting that consumed his life. Cousin Mark is horse-mad, self-absorbed, but somehow charismatic. Will, the younger cousin, is nothing like his father or brother, despises their passions, and is determined to look to the future - to fly. Christina is a light of compassion and humanity in a place that has seen neither in a very long time.

The novel, obviously written at a very different time for a very different generation, is sweetly moving, but I do not believe it will resonate with the current young generation of readers. By the end of the book, Christina must make a decision between three young men who have been vying for her hand - Mark, who shares her passion for horses but is proud, deceitful, and a bit of a bully, Will, who does not share her interests, and in fact ridicules them, or Dick, the stableboy who is below her but loves her dearly. The choice she makes is sudden and not emotionally satisfying. Readers of today's YA novels expect a certain amount of justice for the characters we care about, but Flambards shows the world of Edwardian England for what it was, including some of the bleak realities.

That is not to say that I did not enjoy the book - for I did. But I do not think there are too many younger readers who will.
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