- € 4,99
When Teagan’s father abruptly abandons his family and his farm, Teagan finds herself wading through the wreckage of what was once an idyllic life, searching for something—or someone—to hold on to. What she finds is Ian, short for Obsidian: the magnificent but dangerously headstrong horse her father left behind. But even as she grows close to Ian, patiently training him, trying to overcome her fear of him, Teagan is learning that life and love are fragile. With an unflinching eye and remarkable restraint, Talley English tells a piercing story about how families hold together and fall apart; about loss and grief; about friendship; about the blunt cruelty of chance; and, finally, about forgiveness.
In English's uneven debut, high schooler Teagan French lives an idyllic life at Blue View, her family's Virginia farm. Her days consist of riding horses; campfires in the woods with her best friend, Grace; and outdoor dinners under cloudless skies. Teagan lives with her mother, the strong-willed, horse-loving Susanna; her older brother, the kind but distant Charlie; and her hard-to-please father, Robert. However, Robert seems less like himself every day. When he brings home an obstinate new gelding, Obsidian, and then abruptly leaves his family for another woman, Obsidian is christened Ian and given to Teagan. As her family crumbles around her, Teagan chooses a new path for herself at an equestrian-focused boarding school a few hours away. She deals with pain and heartbreak there with a new cast of roommates and friends, all the while battling to train the strong-willed Ian, hoping to find something she can truly trust amid the turmoil. With short, punchy chapters and both first- and third-person narration from Teagan, the novel moves well, but the story can feel unfocused; scenes of boarding school antics are highly detailed, while major moments like the abrupt and dramatic ending are vague. English is a talented writer whose strong, striking sentences compensate for the weaker aspects of the story.