Monday 22 February 2016

Book Review: Chasing The Wind

In the not so distant past, I caught some version of the pneumonia plague. I basically laid in bed for a week and felt sorry for myself while reading multiple books. 

While I wouldn't credit the following book entirely with my survival (thanks again, modern medicine!), I would definitely credit it with making my weekend much more enjoyable and providing a welcome distraction from real life. Sorry George Morris and Mary King - your books are great and I will get back to them again - but this is the book that kept going to the top of the virtual pile and kept my attention through a death plague ;)

Champions are made by the adversity they overcome. When tragedy strikes Aspen Valley Stables, racehorse trainer Jack Carmichael is in danger of losing everything – his wife, his reputation, his sanity… then in walks Lucy Kendrick, a young reporter, all set to shadow him. Every journalist has an agenda and Lucy is no different. Can she uphold her cover when charismatic jockey Finn O’Donaghue makes her want to be no one but herself? The Grand National beckons once more, but when the yard’s runners start to foul fall of the authorities, the future of Aspen Valley Stables is threatened. Is the wreckage that is his personal life compromising Jack’s ability to train or is there something more sinister going on?

Fair warning: this book may or may not have made me cry a couple of times. It wasn't at all what I expected. Hannah's previous books have been fun adventures into the British racing world. There's a bit of mystery, lots of likable characters (including horses!), and happy endings for most. Light, fun reading that is well researched, witty, and written well enough that you can enjoy it without feeling guilty about it later.

 Chasing The Wind is a continuation of those stories and still contains a lot of the feel of the other books, but it differs significantly in that it is more mature and serious than her earlier writing. I admittedly hate books or movies that make me have "the feels", but this one balances the story in such a way that I identified with the characters rather than my pet hate of feeling like the author was manipulating my emotions (Nicholas Sparks, I'm looking hard at you here!)

As always, the characters are well developed and easy to root for, and there's a bit of a mystery woven into the story. All the great racing scenes are there, and there's a love story too. What more could you ask for? Her writing is as sharp and witty as ever, and I really enjoyed the added depth this novel offers. I honestly think this is the best thing she's written. Although technically part of a series, this one would easily stand on it's own. I would have no reservations recommending this to you, or even my non horsey friends who are looking for a good weekend read.

If you'd like to purchase Chasing The Wind, here are some handy links:

Finally, the not so fine print. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review. While I certainly appreciate that, it in no way colors my review of the book. I wouldn't recommend this book to you if I didn't honestly like it!

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