It was late when I finished A Filly Called Easter. Memories of man pre-teen nights under the bed covers with a flashlight and a book from the black-stallion series enveloped me as I turned out the lamp.
Hesse continues to demonstrate the strength and abilities of pre-teens/teenagers. From cleaning barns to driving tractors, these ranch kids are capable and are needed. The result is responsible, resourceful and confident kids – characters that I admired.
I found the first chapter a bit difficult as I had not read the previous tow books in the series: One Frosty Christmas and The Great Pumpkin Ride. I had to absorb the names and relationships and at some points I found the a little sweet. Ultimately though, I was surprized to find I had kept turning he pages until I finished – out of interest and curiosity, not out of obligation.
This book is written for pre- and early teens. Buy it for any dreamy-eyed animal-loving child. Anyone who has ever dreamed of that perfect horse, or felt that connection and pleasure of enjoying the world from the back of a horse, should give it a try.
Janet Peto VIP Pets
eview by Laura Neufeld, The Canadian Horse Journals
Two Independents, the fourth installment in Canadian author, Laura Hesse’s popular Holiday Series, is an exciting, heartwarming tale set in British Columbia’s interior.
The novel introduces June, the matriarch of the Stetler family. She is a kind, insightful woman, and though suffering from debilitating arthritis, possesses a physical and emotional strength which gives the novel its heart.
June lives with her husband, Bill, their dog named Horse, and an old Norwegian Fjord, CD. She travels up to their cabin in the mountains each summer, and this year she will be accompanied by her grandchildren: Billy, a horse-crazy eight-year-old who longs to be a “real” cowboy, and Susie, a surly fifteen-year-old from California who would much rather be spending her summer on a surf board than one horseback. The story follows the family as they head up the mountain and settle in for a quiet vacation. The summer, however, brings much more than they expected.
Two Independents has all the makings of a great story – for you and old alike. Hesse has created nuanced characters who come alive on the page, and tells a story filled with twist and turns. There is even a bit of a romance thrown into the mix.
Hesse owns a Norwegian Fjord and her love for the breed is obvious: CD and his new companion Independence are as strongly developed as the human characters. Hesse also puts her years of experience with the Alberta Forest Service to good use, depicting the dangerous conditions which arise when the summer is too hot and dry. Her detailed observations place the reader right in the thick of things.
Two Independents is a great choice for the horse lover looking to add a little excitement to their reading list.