1. The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Paperback: 342 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 9, 2014)
Amazon: The Language of Hoofbeats
Amazon Kindle: The Language of Hoofbeats
From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of the heartbreak and healing power of family. New to a small town, Jackie and Paula envision a quiet life for their kids: a young adopted son and two teenage foster children, including the troubled Star. However, they quickly butt heads with their neighbor, Clementine, who disapproves of their lifestyle and is incensed when Star befriends her spirited horse, Comet. Haunted by past tragedy and unable to properly care for Comet, Clem nevertheless resents the bond Star soon shares with the horse. When Star disappears with Comet, the neighbors are thrown together—far too close together. But as the search for the pair wears on, both families must learn to put aside their animosity and confront the choices they’ve made and the scars they carry. Plumbing the depths of regret and forgiveness, The Language of Hoofbeats explores the strange alchemy that transforms a group of people into a family.
The Language of Hoofbeats is a touching story of a lesbian couple that moves into a small town with 3 children. One they adopted, the other two are fosters. Their closest neighbor is not happy that they have moved in and they are lesbians. The story shows how the neighbor and the couple have to push aside differences when one of the children does something unthinkable that affects them all.
Mrs Catherine Ryan Hyde work seem to be always precise and on point and this book is another example of why I enjoy to read her books. This is not the first time that I read a book divided into two point of views but it is a lot more rare that the different voices are not connected by a romance building among the owners of those voices. I think that the way she balanced her protagonist's stories is perfect and the story even if not new is never trite or banal.
The characterization was a rare piece of craftsmanship, making even the most disagreeable character human and sympathetic. Best of the bunch – VERY well done!
The plot structure was perfection. There were lots of arcs, but they all came together. Clem's struggles seemed to mirror Star's, and the horse brought them together. The setting--Clem's house, the barn, and Jackie's house were well done and used to maximum benefit. Characterization was spot on. Character growth of everyone was incredible. It seemed they all had fears they needed to overcome. The writing style was fantastic--each sentence has a purpose.
For me, this book is a straight 10-10-10-10 for a total of 40. I was almost sure it would be 5 pages into it. Okay, I need to justify my rating. This is going to be longer than you want to read, but I'll get around to something you can use by the end. When I read other lesfic, I can't help but compare the writing to my own writing. There are a lot of authors I judge "not as good" or "really, really not as good". And then there's a group that I consider peers, or close enough. There are a few I put "a little better". Then there's Catherine Ryan Hyde. I can only hope someday to write this well. You probably can't use any of that and want a simple one liner. So... The Language of Hoofbeats tugged at my heartstrings. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I felt joy, and I felt sorrow. And I felt hope.
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4. Sandcastles by Suzie Carr
All We Lack by Sandra Moran
To Love Again by B.L. Clark
5. Turning for Home by Caren J. Werlinger
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