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Silver Dreams

By Sondra Rice Newman
ISBN: 1931741565

Review by: Heather Darcy


There are many books that explore the relationship between children or adolescents and horses, from Walter Farley's brilliant Black Stallion series to Marguerite Henrys Misty of Chincoteague. I devoured all of these books as a girl. There are fewer books that explore the bond of grown women and horses, so when one comes along, I'm first in line at the bookstore to buy it. Its hard to find a book that recaptures the excitement I felt when I read these equine classics as a young girl. It seems hard to find a book that realistically and accurately captures the details involved in caring for and riding horses while still maintaining characters that the reader can identify with and care about.

Silver Dreams by Sondra Rice Newman succeeds on some of these levels. Leigh Meredith is your typical steely New York advertising executive, seemingly heartless and primarily concerned about her career. So, its no surprise when she's dumped by her lover, Sven, on Christmas eve. The window to her perfect world is shattered and she abruptly leaves her creature comforts and her career for a minimum-wage job at a newspaper in a small country town called Fox Creek in Virginia.

Through Leigh's job at the paper, she meets a widow names Bibs who runs a boarding stable. This unlikely pair quickly become friends, and Leigh buys a one-eyed thoroughbred desperately in need of attention from her. The horse is named Silver Dreams and although Leigh purchases him for next to nothing, he has an impressive pedigree in the word of horse racing. The horse blossoms under Leigh's care and she begins to wonder if he has what it takes to race.

Through Bibs, Leigh meets Whit Riley, an alcoholic who was a former horse trainer. The usual story of attraction follows, but Newman's love and knowledge of horses keeps the novel from being more than a predictable romance.

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