My Golden Horse by Caroline Akervi Review

My Golden Horse by Caroline Akervi Review
Perfect Vacation Book
Protagonist Development / Character Arcs

I always enjoy a good book.  Throw in horses, teen angst and some light “vacation” type reading…and I’m into it!  I was sent My Golden Horse by Caroline Akervi to read and review (thank you Caroline).

My Golden Horse is a Young Adult book (so nothing too heavy here folks…but it kinda is…you’ll see) about a older teen named Ellen who has been THROUGH some stuff.  This poor kid was dragged around from show grounds to show grounds her entire childhood with her professional show jumper mom, Linda.  Linda comes across as one of those people that only had a kid incidentally and just kinda shoves it into their life as best they can.  I don’t want to talk about Linda too much…because I want to punch her most of the time.  Which is probably because of excellent writing on the part of the author.

I really feel for this kid.  She lived life on the road with little in the way of stability (other than her self absorbed and possibly a bit mentally ill mother), a camera, a strained relationship with her dad and little in the way of friends.  Ellen’s hobby of choice is photography…as she was kinda shoved that direction due to her mom’s schedule and it being convenient.  You would think Ellen would have spent her childhood riding and growing as horseman herself, however her mom snuffled that desire in her…because…well…I’m going to stop talking about Linda.  It’s pretty shit.  Anyways…their poor relationship is the basis for the entire story which starts after Linda has a terrible riding accident that leaves her drug addicted, horse-avoidant (you can see how that’s a problem since that was her entire financial livelihood before) and lands them both living at Ellen’s grandparents farm.

At that farm there happens to be a very angry and moody palomino mare ready to take a chunk out of your arm (or the closest horse) if you aren’t paying attention.  Ellen can’t take her eyes away from this Golden Horse.  You can imagine what happens with the story from here… (and that’s as far as I’m going so I don’t spoil it for you). The plot isn’t unique or anything that you don’t expect, but how it gets there is a lovely story.   The story is ultimately a story of personal and family healing with a large side of horses, which I am completely on board with.

I should mention that as a fellow equestrian, Caroline’s writing about horses is not annoying, it’s authentic.  There’s a lot of detail and subtlety to her writing which I enjoyed.  I could feel and smell the scenes and imagine myself as Ellen quite clearly throughout the book which is a feat for a young adult book about angst (when I’m a late 30s woman with a kid myself).  The writing was well done and the characters were very well developed and real.

At the stage of life I’m in reading from the point of view of a teenager might be quite where I’m at…however I was completely absorbed by Ellen’s situation.  Her anger and shortness with her mother and general teenage rudeness with her grandparents and father are to be expected and completely relatable.  Her silly teenage decisions are also equally expected for who she is in her stage of life.  Sadly her anger and detachment and judgement of “friends” is completely understandable based on her unstable upbringing.   By the end of the story,  Ellen’s character arc has developed in a very satisfying way.  I really enjoyed going along for the ride, and (even though she’s not real) have nothing but hope and dreams for Ellen’s future (though I’m still mildly dubious about Linda).  That’s a well written story.

If you’re looking for some easy reading to suck you into a story with a little horse on the side (okay a LOT of horse), My Golden Horse might just be a book you want to pick up!  I am going to have to pick up her other book A Horse Named Viking now!