This is a wonderful, wonderful horsey story which I discovered via a Kindle offer (and I'm so happy I did!!) Published in 1976, I can't think how this one evaded me when I was a child because I would have loved this story about friendship and horses (I was horsey mad as a child and this would have been the stuff that my pony-mad dreams were made of). So, Mary and Anna are great friends. Anna is the rich child of her landowning father and Mary is the poor daughter of the farmhand (an employee of Anna's Dad). They've grown up together and the difference between them in terms of what they have and have not got has never entered the equation before. Anna has a horse called September who she shares with Mary and it's all very happy and idyllic. UNTIL... Anna's Dad decides that Anna needs to go to a posh boarding school where horse-riding is on the syllabus and Mary is left behind. Suddenly, Mary is being treated like a groom/a hired hand to look after September, but she's not allowed to ride him at all. This is the story of how Anna changes and Mary struggles to regain their friendship and keep September. There's an awful lot about class in here and one can't help but get a bit annoyed with Mary who really does seem to "know her place" (as Anna, at one point, obnoxiously tells her she should do). After all, it's Mary who saves the day and when the inevitable happens and there's a rapid turnabout in their fortunes, Mary still seems anxious to stay as the working class underdog. Despite the fact that she has the power to change her life at this point, she just doesn't seem to see it.
That said, I LOVED this book - I read it in nearly one sitting because I just couldn't put it down. If you love horses, don't miss this one. I might even buy the other one ("Quicksilver") despite it being aimed at the 8 to 12 year old market. (I'm 42 - but you're never too old for a fabulous horsey story - once horse-mad, I reckon you'll always be that way...)
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