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Search tags: the-secret-horses-of-briar-hill
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review 2017-01-01 20:04
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd - Review
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd This is my favorite middle grade read of the year - of the last three years, actually. It's a magical realism story set during WWII, where a girl in a hospital sees winged horses in the mirrors. Here's a confession: I'm a horse girl. You've got horses, you've got me. I've read a load of horsey stories in my life, more in my youth than I have in the last few years. I think I have the pedigree required to call myself an expert on horse books, and this is an excellent horse book. It doesn't share many of the more childish cliches of horse books, save one: girl finds injured horse, does everything to save it. And it does it so darn well. There's such depth to this that, after the past few middle grade novels I've read, I honestly wasn't expecting. It's beautifully written. The children behave like children and don't speak like overly wise adults. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking while being neither saccharine nor melodramatic. Something about the writing and the story combined to give me such a nostalgia trip that I cried once or twice. If you know a Horse Girl™ of any gender, send this book their way.
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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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text 2016-09-02 18:26
Reading progress update: I've read 235 out of 239 pages.
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd

From the afterword:

 

Emmaline calls tuberculosis "stillwaters" after the Latin proverb "still waters run deep", which means that quiet people are often hiding a deeper nature. To Emmaline, this saying means that children may be overlooked as being simple, but they are often struggling with deeper battles, such as illnesses, that aren't always visible on the surface.

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