by Susan Mihalic
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Pub Date 16 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2021
Gallery Books, Gallery/Scout Press
“Roan Montgomery’s sweeping and raw story of courage, resilience, and clear-eyed grace will never leave me.” —Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author
A darkly gripping debut novel about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father.
Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan's relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision.
At the intersection of a commercial page-turner and urgent survivor story, Dark Horses takes the searing themes of abuse and resilience in Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling and applies the compelling exploration of female strength in Room by Emma Donoghue. In much the same way that V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic transfixed a generation of readers, Susan Mihalic’s debut is set to a steady beat that will keep you turning the pages.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 90 members
Very gripping novel, even for someone who has limited equestrian experience. Dark in many ways, the ending is a burst of light.
Not since Kristin Hannah's The Great Alone, has a book affected me so deeply. I alternated between feeling horrified by the behavior of some of the characters, to being in awe of the courage and strength in the characters as well. This is a book that will stay in my head for several months. What an amazing debut by the author. I look forward to reading her future books.
I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley.
Here's the thing: I don't know how to honestly review this one. I don't know how many stars I would give it.
You know what I would give it? A GIANT trigger warning.
I flew through it, but then I cried after and they weren't happy tears.
I'm giving 2 stars because the NetGalley requires stars, but I honestly don't know if that is true. I want to give it more for how "can't put it down" it was and I want to give it less for the trauma dredged up by it.
I just don't know, so in the meantime, I don't recommend.
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