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Silver Dreams

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Silver Dreams by Sondra Rice Newman

Silver Dreams by Sondra Rice Newman

Robert D. Reed Publishers

The Bottom Line

Horsewoman Sondra Rice Newman's debut novel is a classic rags-to-riches story. Like in the recent movies Seabiscuit and Dreamer, a broken-down horse is turned into a champion. Fans of racing fiction will enjoy this realistic yet somewhat predictable work, but potential readers should note that this is not a romance nor a mystery novel. Strongly recommended to anybody who has dreamed of finding that elusive "big horse" and owning or training that horse to the Breeders' Cup.
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Pros

  • An almost believable story set in a world racing fans are familiar with
  • Author obviously is familiar with horses and the racing world
  • Despite a predictable end, the book is still exciting to read and hard to put down.

Cons

  • Some minor errors like horse names longer than legal
  • Those expecting a mystery of the Dick Francis genre would be disappointed

Description

  • High-powered advertising executive Leigh Meredith is dumped by the man she had hoped to marry.
  • Feeling a need to "find herself", she quits her Manhattan job and flees to Virginia.
  • Once there, she happens upon an abandoned gray gelding named Silver Dreams, who is blind in one eye.
  • She nurses the horse back to health and enlists the services of trainer Whit Riley.
  • The horse works his way up from Virginia hunt meets through to the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Guide Review - Silver Dreams

Newman's story is a roller coaster ride, exposing the reader to the highs and lows of horse ownership. A gelding is abandoned by his owner leaving the farm owner stuck with the bills to keep him alive. A new owner, who had experience with horses as a child, feels compelled to buy him for pleasure riding, but soon finds she has a racehorse on her hands. And, as in every other rags-to-riches story, the rest is history.

Many horse stories have a romance component and this one is no exception, but this was but a small subplot in the whole novel. Newman's experience as a horsewoman was put to use here, as she realistically portrayed the atmosphere of the racing world. She includes the usual cast of characters to be found in upper class racing, such as the oil sheikhs and other multi-millionnaire owners, their impeccably-bred horses, the railbirds, and of course the media circus that follows the Breeders' Cup and other major racing events.

As a follower of horse racing, this reader found it to not only be a very believable novel but an enjoyable read as well, despite the predictable nature of the story. It was also a pleasant surprise to see our home track featured for one of the races, accurately portrayed. The few errors we did find would be easily overlooked by most readers.

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