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Quick Outline

Peyton’s Blind Beauty (one of my favouritest books ever, so don’t go expecting one of those useful unbiased reviews or anything…) opens onto the, so far, disastrous life of Tessa. Daughter of drunk Declan (one of those really fun book drunks that you know you should hate but secretly, all you want is to share his £2.99 one litre bottle of cider and dance) and weak, remarried mother Myra. The re-marriage of Myra to evil-stepfather Maurice sends the already troubled Tessa into even deeper difficulty. Excluded from about a billion schools, miserable and lonely, Tessa is forced by Maurice to help out at a local yard.

Resolving to hate the people, and the yard, just to spite Maurice, Tessa is surprised to find herself enjoying the work. The fates of Tessa and the yard, Sparrows Wyck, become inevitably entwined on the arrival of Buffoon, an ugly, poor looking horse who Tessa is given the care of. She soon discovers that estranged drunk Duncan bred him out of the mare she loved as a child. From that moment forward she puts all of her energy and spirit, once spent on doing bad things, into Buffoon; believing, against everyone’s advice and better knowledge, that he will make a wonderful racehorse.

Tessa is a wonderful heroine, tough and complicated, believing things against all odds. You love her even more when loving Buffoon humanizes her, this love cleverly weighting the horse down with massive human significance. And so, of course, lots of terrible things happen along the way and if you’re a baby like me you might cry. But you just have to sit out the sad bits because the ending is wonderful…

A Picture Portrait

Aintree: The crowd, the build up, the nerves. Grand National day, and the mixture of emotions it inspires, stands as an amplified version for every day spent by Tessa at the races. Peyton demonstrates what it is to be behind the scenes, one of the lads or lasses who care for the horses racing. Their fear, made worse by their inability to help their horse once the tapes have gone up; their frustration, caused by some owners who know nothing about their animal but imagine it instead as some sort of robot which is worthless unless winning every single race. And, ultimately, their love for the game; a love tied resolutely to fear, which ensures that, despite the odd bad, terrible, even horrific day, they remain hooked- addicted- to their sport.

Soon, Tessa herself is race riding, the reader experiencing a rush of conflicting emotions; fear, adrenalin, excitement, exhaustion and determination.

Favourite Review…

Well, to be honest, I couldn’t really find a ‘favourite’. This one will just have to do…!

Criticism

If you don’t like horses or racing then it’s probs not the book for you. Also, if you like lots of boy lovin’ then the romantic story line might annoy you. It feels a little bit tacked on, because, after all, horse love rules this story.

Love,

Zoe

5/5 Stars

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