Vom Berg Ben Wyvis her erklang ein dumpfes Dröhnen und Brüllen wie von einem vielköpfigen Ungeheuer. Ich spürte, wie mein Pferd Dandy zusammenzuckte und sich unter mir verspannte. Durch die Nebelschwaden kam ein stahlgraues Monster auf uns zu, und ich konnte, nichts anderes denken, als dass wir verloren waren. Dandy stieg in wildem Entsetzten; ich spürte, wie ich durch die Luft geschleudert wurde, dann wurde es still um uns. Nur ein Gedanke beherrschte mich: Was war mit meinem Pferd?
Der Pferdehof The Laurels am Fuß der schottischen Hochlandberge ist zur Zuflucht für alte, kranke und misshandelte Pferde geworden. Hier wird das Mädchen Laurie ein Jahr lang bei der Arbeit mit den Pferden helfen.
A shetland pony walking across a meadow. It’s alright, though it doesn’t scream November to me – especially not the one depicted in the novel. Some mist, storm clouds, or first snow would have been nice.
It’s been a while since I picked up the last book (mostly because it took me ages to write that review) but I was immediately back and swept away – and I loved every second of it! I don’t remember whether I liked this series this much the first time I read it, but it most certainly has become an absolute favourite of mine this time around.
Ready for the next instalment in our favourite horsey Highland soap opera? Strap in, because this one has a lot going on – and going for it! I pretty much had tears in my eyes throughout. Not because it’s particularly sad, but because it’s particularly perfect! So let’s dive in, revisiting our established plotlines: the relationship between Laurie and Danny and the family feud – with the usual dash of social criticism.
- My, my! Laurie and Danny are such a lovely couple, I adore them! They’re so pure and cute and adorable (I think I’m repeating myself) – and they still have to keep their relationship a secret, which becomes more and more troublesome. Especially, when they head to Edinburgh together to visit that lady that bought Myrddin in the last book. She’s quite rich, living in a huge mansion and taking them out for an expensive dinner. Both Laurie and Danny feel a little out of place, but that only brings them closer together. Like, really close. Because this, lo and behold, is one of the very few horse novel series that doesn’t shy away from addressing sex. It’s not described but very heavily implied (if you don’t catch that, you can’t tell me you actually read the book).
- Back home, the family feud is still on with Laurie and Danny desperately trying to find a way to bring their reluctant family members together. Fate takes it into her own hands and sends out a strafer in the fog that causes Laurie to have a rather bad riding accident (cue some social criticism about but not only limited to the military). Laurie’s uncle has to pick her up at Danny’s farm and finally meets his old flame Moragh again. And to the surprise of everyone this goes much better than expected. There’s still a spark between the two, so Laurie and Danny immediately design plans to force them to meet again.
- Nevertheless, both Laurie and Danny worry about their futures. Laurie has no idea what she’s going to do. Though she still got seven months in Scotland, she really doesn’t want to leave. And Danny’s family might be facing an existential crisis: a sheep pest is killing many flocks in the neighbourhood and they really can’t afford to lose any sheep (cue some more social criticism).
There’s also a new addition to the The Laurels family: Jessie, a school girl who loves horses, starts to help out at the farm. Just in time, since Laurie can’t do much in the aftermath of her riding accident. Laurie is both glad to have her there but also feels a bit worried she’ll become superfluous. And then, ladies and gents and enbies, the secret star of this book: the atmosphere! I can’t even put into words how deeply connected I felt to this book. November in the Highlands, November on The Laurels – that huge messy house with its ragtag crew of characters. It doesn’t get much better than this.