Rhoda Crowell's Reviews > the Island Horse

the Island Horse by Susan Hughes
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's review
Sep 10, 2012

it was amazing
Read in September, 2012

Susan Hughes transports us back in time with her new novel, "The Island Horse".

Ellie loses her mother to an illness and her father loses his job while caring for her. Life is difficult for Ellie and her father but coastal Nova Scotia is home and she can visit her mother's grave on the bluff. Then everything changes when her father finds a job on the remote off the coast of Nova Scotia. Sable Island, basically a sandbar manned to rescue sailors, passengers and cargo of the ship's that have run aground. It's a dangerous job for her father and a strange, isolating place. Not much survives on the island but the families, hardy grasses and the wild horses. Ellie feels anger and grief for having to leave her mother and all she's ever known to live on a the remote Sable Island. She doesn't like this new place or Sarah, the new spirited girl who lives on the island. While her father works Ellie begins to explore the island, forming a trusting relationship with one of the wild stallions she names Orchid and his herd. When Orchid and his family are threatened, it's up to Ellie and Sarah to form a friendship and save the herd.

This book is a gem for anyone who grew up dreaming of horses. Susan Hughes' detailed description of life on Sable Island helps visualize life on the remote islands off Nova Scotia at the early half of the 19th century. Although the characters are fictitious, the island and wild horses are not. Sable Island is now protected by the Canadian government.

The Island Horse, 160 pages is suitable for readers seven to 10 years old (grades 2-5).
disclosure: galley copy received through www.netgalley.com

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