Feb 25, 2018

The Crumb

by Jean Slaughter Doty

A horse story about show jumping. The young girl who narrates it has a scruffy pony she keeps in her backyard. She needs to buy her pony a new winter blanket, so takes a job at a nearby stable where more well-to-do kids have riding lessons. The stable owner is so impressed, she's allowed to bring her pony to work, and goes along to horse shows as an assistant. Where she ogles the beautiful, famous horses owned by wealthy folks, listens in on gossip, and finds out about a scandal revolving around some rich stable owner who discards horses by dishonest means, to collect insurance money. The girl inadvertently gets way too involved, and results are devastating for her. Honestly I was shocked when the tragic event occurred only two-thirds through the book. I wondered what could transpire afterward, but it had a tidy ending- a tad predictable, but overall I was impressed how the author dropped hints, subtly allowing the reader to figure out what really happened. Nice story. And very horsey. I don't know how accurate the details are about training methods, show conditions, shady means used to improve a horse's performance, etc- but it felt very realistic. Grimy underside to a world full of girls who love horses, and wealthy folks who want to show off with them.

Rating: 3/5         122 pages, 1976

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