by Mary O'Hara
One of my favorite books of all time. I don't remember what made me first pick it up at the public library, but for years I would periodically go back and read it, over and over. Eventually I discovered there were two more books by O'Hara about the same horse ranch, and I read those too.
My Friend Flicka is a coming-of-age story about a boy on a Wyoming horse ranch. Ken is something of a daydreamer, and struggles to please his authoritarian father and find direction for his future. More than anything else he wants a horse for his own, like his big brother. His father feels he isn't ready for that responsibility, but his mother talks him into letting the boy have a horse. Ken chooses an unbroken filly which proves to be the most difficult horse to tame on the entire ranch. Even when attempts to catch and break in his filly cause accidents and crisis, Ken is stubborn and sticks to his decision: he loves this horse, and never will give it up. I will let you know that while both Ken and the horse suffer, everything comes out right in the end!
More than just a book about boy and his horse, My Friend Flicka is a vivid picture of ranching life. The decisions his parents face in managing the ranch, dealing with financial issues, taking care of their stock, nurturing their marriage and raising their two boys in a remote area are an integral part of the story. The father worries that he's made the wrong choices in running horses on his range as opposed to sheep, the mother worries about her boys riding across pastures where they might meet dangers like half-wild stallions and bulls, or mountain lions come down from the hills. Although fiction, this novel (and its sequels) are based on a ranch the author lived on, and many of the characters and events in the stories are drawn from real life. To my mind, that makes reading them all the more intense and delightful.
Rating: 5/5 ........285 pages, 1941
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anyone else written about this book? all I find when I search are film reviews!