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review 2018-01-07 22:21
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd
You don’t have to truly understand everything that was taking place in this novel to truly enjoy it. The more that I thought about this novel, the more that I understood the essence of the novel and the more I loved it. It’s a journey that begins when Emmaline discovers what lies within the mirrors of Briar Hill Hospital. This hospital was once the home of a princess but is now the home to children with stillwaters (tuberculosis). Emmaline and her roommate Anna are the only two individuals who claim they can see what is in the mirrors, a secret that they now share privately. Emmaline tries to fit in amongst the other children but since her comment the first day about what she saw in the mirrors, some children have been antagonizing her. As she escapes one such taunting, she dashes beyond the kitchen terrace, where no children are allowed, to a place where she feels safe.
 
It can’t be. One of the images from the mirror has slipped through to her world and now stands before her. It is wounded though. It’s a magical and emotional time as Emmaline is faced with decisions regarding the winged horse from the mirror. Anna, her roommate is slowly dying and Emmaline has been told to keep calm around her yet the excitement and intensity of this new development is hard to keep contained. Anna is the only person who she can share this excitement with and she wants to tell Anna everything. As Emmaline sleeps, she hears hoofprints on the roof and realizes that it cannot be her winged horse as it was injured. Checking on the horse the next day, she finds a note from The Horse Lord. He asks Emmaline help in protecting the injured horse Foxfire, from the Black Horse who is out to hurt her. He leaves Emmaline instructions, if she is willing to help. This is a huge responsibility with the war going on and a huge risk for Emmaline. It was an intense and exciting journey as the rest of the novel played out.
 
I fell head first into the magical elements of this story. I enjoyed Emmaline’s commitment to do what she thought was right and how creative she was. Her age showed as she sometimes acted before she thought things through and I loved how she acted from her heart. This was a beautiful story, a story that you will not forget when you close the final pages. I think it would make an excellent bedtime story or a read aloud. I can’t wait to share it with others.

 

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review 2017-07-18 20:48
[Book Review] The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

Rating: ★★★★★

 

You can read this review on my blog.

This book feels like it's been hiding on the shelf next to the classics, such as The Secret Garden and Narnia, for years now. 

It's a simple story really. It's a story about a young girl fighting an illness while the adults fight a war. But it's also a lot more. It's a story about hope and courage. It's a story about love and loss. And it's beautiful.

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review 2016-12-13 00:00
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd There are many lovely reviews here and nothing I say could possibly top them.
I think I'll be sending my copy to my nieces and hope they enjoy it as much as I did.
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review 2016-09-29 11:00
BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd, illustrated by Levi Penfold
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd

 

The images within this book are evocative, gorgeous, and just downright perfect, with occasional double spread images that help to fill out the picture. But the words in themselves will reach right into your heart and pull on those strings. In truth, my feelings about this book actually grew overnight, between staying up late to finish the last few chapters and sitting down to write this review the following evening.

 

Upon closing this book, I felt there were too many things left unanswered, but after letting it sit for a day the full picture has become clearer, with the areas that felt less well fleshed out a day ago opening up to all the possibilities of interpretation.

 

This is a story about a time when everyone was on high-alert, and the battle on the front lines wasn’t the only one being fought. This is a story of kids who have experienced loss and will continue to do so, whose only personal items were donated by people across the pond in America. In this world, everyone is broken in one way or another.

Dr Turner is like Thomas: he isn’t whole. Only whole men can go to war to fight the Germans. But what Dr Turner is missing isn’t an arm or a leg or even a finger. It’s a part of his heart. It’s the daughter and wife he lost to the bombs. The missing part that makes him twitch when there is a thunderstorm – like that one time when lightning struck the roof and he crawled under the kitchen table like a dog and made a strange, frightened sound, until Sisters Constance and Mary Grace coaxed him out with weak tea.

 

 

The rest of this review can be found HERE!

 

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text 2016-09-02 18:27
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd

Review to come closer to release (October, I believe).

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