A Tale of Sweetbriars.
Welcome to the yard! Come and meet the girls… Cate, Tabby and Violet and their beautiful horses.
Cate is uprooted from life as she has known it. Along with her family and her gorgeous palomino show horse Odette, she moves to a charming farm deep in the English countryside.
Cate is torn. Upon moving to horse heaven, she had to leave behind her best friend Beth and her beloved horse-riding instructor Bridget. On the other hand, she has fallen in love with Sweetbriars, the farm her family has bought to make their dreams come true.
Setting up an equestrian centre at Sweetbriars is fun to Cate, but settling into a new school and having a stern Pony Club riding instructor that teaches dressage is less so. At school, Cate makes friends with Violet, who is confident and wacky, and through Pony Club she gets to know Tabby, who is sweet and popular, but hides a family secret. When the eccentric neighbour Sophia becomes a regular ‘drop in’ to the farm, Cate begins to learn about acceptance and what friendships really mean. The girls’ lives will be intertwined in ways they could never have imagined thanks to their shared passion for horses and Cate’s determination to make Sweetbriars a success.
Will Cate ever settle into living in the countryside?
This is a great book for preteens (9-12 years old), younger teenagers and adults that love coming of age stories and animals.
Sweetbriars is a proud supporter of The Riding for The Disabled (RDA) and for every book sold, a percentage of the book sale will be donated to this wonderful charity.
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
This is a really sweet book aimed at 9 – 12 year olds. The descriptions are not over long with the writing focused more on the horses, friendship of the girls and an adventure. I could have seen myself reading this sort of book in my childhood and dreaming of being one of them myself. The girls are middle class but the problems of moving and having to make new friends is the same for anyone. Cate’s family have moved from just outside London down south and bought Sweetbriars a very large farm that they convert into an equestrian centre.
Cate does at first struggle with the changes but finds a couple for real nice friends although there are some mean girls too. She does have her constant companion throughout the story, her Palomino pony Odette. The pony club is very different to the riding school she use to go to. The girls work hard to be selected for massive competition but will everyone play fair?
I loved how the author tells the story through the girls rather than the adults, which is a different line of thinking all together. Cate appears confident to the outside world but she is a little worrier that cares about the horses tremendously and takes it to heart what happens to her friends. There is a lovely glossary in the back of the book to help children and adults with some of the terms used in the book relating to the horses. Lovely idea to help young readers.
Any horse mad girl would love this story, the first of a series.
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hollie Anne Marsh is an Australian author who lives in Barcelona, Spain with her partner, baby boy, and horse, Frieda.
Hollie has been riding since she was a little girl, enjoying activities such as Pony Club, showjumping, eventing, and trail-riding in the great Australian bush. Hollie lived in England for almost ten years where she had two horses and trained them for dressage.
The Sweetbriars series is inspired by all the special moments Hollie spent with horses… good, funny, and challenging moments!
In creating the new Sweetbriars series, Hollie hopes that readers will not only find the books fun to read, but they will also inspire readers to learn more about horses.