The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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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.

The story is told by two very different women, Jackie and Clementine and their individual perspectives. Characterization of these two women is outstanding as well as the development of other significant characters. Hyde allows the characters to slowly unfold, their thoughts, emotions and feelings on full display. You understand their flaws and qualities, fears and confidence, scars and strengths. Well sketched driving the story along with multiple themes.

Hyde touches on attitudes and consequences battling diversity and negativity. She doesn’t ‘change’ her characters, rather she allows them to evolve, become self aware striving to improve. Delicately she molds awareness and acceptance in a constructive manner. The way Jackie and Paula ‘deal/dealt’ with issues along with parenting was well done demonstrating their characters flexibility in thinking given alternative mindsets. Both ladies complimented each other wonderfully.

My only qualm, highly predictable, nonetheless enjoyable.

A profoundly gentle story of love, loss, grief and acceptance, each characters story unraveling a colorful tapestry of varying and affecting circumstances touching the reader. A wonderful read for all ages.


Paperback, 342 pages
Published December 9th 2014 by Lake Union Publishing (first published December 2nd 2014)
ISBN13: 9781477824689

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7 thoughts on “The Language of Hoofbeats by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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