Wir gingen hinaus zu den Pferden. Alles war frisch und sehr grün nach dem Frühlingsregen. Im Gras glitzerten Wassertropfen wie Bergkristalle auf einer Samtdecke. Über dem Berg erschien die Sichel des Mondes. Der Duft von Farnkraut, Thymian, Moorwasser und Pferden erfüllte die Luft. Diesen Ostersonntag im schottischen Hochland würde ich nie vergessen, kurz vor meinem siebzehnten Geburtstag.
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.
The Cover (and Title)
Horses in the snow. That would be a quite fitting image if only it weren’t four Haflingers. I’m pretty sure there is not one of them in the herd at The Laurels. The title is also quite fitting and already hints at the one thing that really didn’t work for me in this book – the immense time jumps.
Well, the progression of this reread was too good to be true. After the high of the fourth book that had me in tears for being so perfect, this one left me rather disappointed. It might be my least favourite of the series (though I haven’t reread the sixth yet and never read the seventh, so I might be wrong).
Though it didn’t blow me away, this one was still an ok read. Why didn’t I love this book as much as the others that came before? Unfortunately, it felt too disjointed. While the previous books covered roughly two weeks each, this one takes on about five or six months! Yes, you read that correctly. Such massive time jumps can’t possibly turn out well and they didn’t. There’s so much going on in this one, it felt like an episodic episode of our favourite Highland horse soap. We’ve got
- a severe snowstorm. It’s winter, it’s the Highlands, it’s not all stars and butterflies. To prove that it’s not as save as living in a major German city, Laurie and Danny get stuck in his car on the way to the cinema. It’s snowing and snowing and snowing and for a minute, it’s unclear whether they make it out alive (since it’s the beginning of the book, spoiler alert: they do). However, the severe and rather sudden weather has dire consequences for Danny’s family: some of their sheep get stuck out there and die. As a result, the family has
- money troubles. Laurie comes up with a great plan: her uncle could buy one of the fields from the MacClintocks – and her uncle agrees because ever since the last book, the longstanding family feud has evaporated into thin air. For the most part – because Danny wouldn’t be Danny if he were accepting help. Instead, Laurie and Danny get into their first full on fight and neither of them wants to give in. And that’s pretty much why some time passes without much happening (reminiscent of that scene of Bella sitting in her room while the camera roams around her in New Moon). But they eventually make up just in time for
- Annika’s visit at Easter. I really liked her personality – she’s spunky and optimistic – but I didn’t like that the friends are pretty much at odds with each other the whole time, especially over their respective guys. Yes, you’ve read that right, because of course there’s some kind of whirlwind romance between Annika and … well, it’s pretty obvious, it doesn’t need saying. This is rather atypical for these books, considering everything took its time so far. Still, these two girls can have a nice chat about their
- fears for the future. The end of Laurie’s time in Scotland is fast (like, really fast thanks to the time jumps) approaching, so she’s in full on worry mode. She wants to stay in Scotland, but her parents would rather have her back at home doing a “real” job. And Annika’s not too happy about her current job situation either, especially now that she’s falling in love with a Scot.
I was really sad that there wasn’t a Highland Christmas in this book. That could have been rather magical. Then there’s Jessie, the on-again-off-again help who’s rather absent most of the time. I’m not quite sure why she was introduced at all since she’s barely in these books. Furthermore, there’s some change at the stables with one horse leaving and two new coming in.