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Dark Horses: A Novel – tekijä: Susan…
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Dark Horses: A Novel (vuoden 2021 painos)

– tekijä: Susan Mihalic (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioKeskustelut
548377,814 (3.96)-
"A taut and darkly gripping debut novel about a fierce teenaged girl's struggle to reclaim her life. Fifteen-year-old Roan has always known two worlds: inside the horse riding arena, and outside. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all aspects 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 incestuous. 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, the arrival of Will, a new teenage love, brings everything into focus."--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:dvnmng
Teoksen nimi:Dark Horses: A Novel
Kirjailijat:Susan Mihalic (Tekijä)
Info:Gallery/Scout Press (2021), 352 pages
Kokoelmat:Bedroom shelves, Oma kirjasto
Arvio (tähdet):
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Dark Horses (tekijä: Susan Mihalic)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Published: February 16, 2021

Gallery/Scout Press

Simon & Schuster

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Susan Mihalic has worked as a book editor, curriculum writer, writing instructor, freelance writer, and editor. She has also taught therapeutic horseback riding. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi and now lives in Taos, New Mexico.

“Every time she looked at it, I wanted her to see the ten-year-old girl who’d told her mother—a mother who’d done nothing.”

Roan is a champion equestrian destined for the Olympics, just like her award winning father. Her father strictly structures her world. She has a short scheduled school schedule, a strict riding schedule. Her father controls everything she does. Even her body is under his control. Her mother is an addict and takes no interest in anything except herself. Everything changes when Will comes into Roan’s life. Suddenly she wants normal things. She wants to say no. To take control of her life. And her father is not happy.

This book is heavy. Really heavy. I have to start this review with a trigger warning; this novel contains sexual abuse towards a minor. Not necessarily in graphic detail, but enough to know what is happening. That may disturb some readers. Be aware.

This was a beautiful broken novel about a girl who has been controlled and broken her entire life until suddenly she isn’t under her father's control anymore.

This is a story of redemption and forgiveness, of growth and success. This novel will mean different things to different readers. But mostly, this is a novel of healing. Of growing and learning to ride on your own.

Roan spends most of her life trying to please her father in every sense of the word. She spent her life trying to make him happy. To earn his praise. And she never considered what that cost her.

Until it hits her full force, and suddenly she wants to break free of the man who has been building her to be a champion. Secrets weigh a ton, and secrets this heavy are sure to cause some trauma, but Roan is strong. She is smart, and she is tired of being a victim of her circumstances.

She has tried and failed to find her footing previously, but now she is ready to break free. With the support of Will, she knows she will find her freedom. But at what cost? ( )
  KKECReads | Apr 27, 2021 |
I am conflicted about this book. It is difficult to read about the sexual abuse of a child, particularly if the monster perpetrating the crime is in the guise of "Daddy," which is further compounded by the tacit acceptance of an alcoholic mother. 15-year old Roan Montgomery is committed to becoming an Olympian equestrian under the guidance and tutelage of her Olympian champion father. The abuse scenes described are graphic and heartbreaking, but she sees no way to stop them without incurring further punishment. Roan's dilemma is further compounded when her mother leaves them for the headmaster of the school she attends. Unbeknownst to her father, she falls in love with a classmate, who becomes her safe place until her father discovers their relationship.

I have served on juvenile court panels that deal with the abuse, abandonment and neglect of children in foster care. Many children are irrevocably damaged, while others survive with the help of intensive therapy. I doubt that Roan can withstand a decade of sexual abuse without this therapy.
  pdebolt | Mar 20, 2021 |
I didn’t know that this disturbing book would be my horror reading for this season. The publisher says intense, but I almost didn’t want to finish a book that seemingly normalized incest. Roan Montgomery’s father has been having sexual relations with her since she was about six years old. She is now fifteen, and she blames herself for accepting this as her lifestyle. Her mother knew, saw Roan as a competitor, and kept the secret. As those who have studied sexual abuse will tell you, it’s all about the secrecy and what the victim fears losing if she tells. In this story, Roan is worried that she will lose access to her beloved horses if she discloses what her father does to her.

Monty Montgomery is an Olympic medal-winning equestrian who runs Rosemont, a well-known horse farm. He controls his horses and staff with great skill and precision. He is training his daughter Roan, who is obviously named after a horse, to be an equestrian in much the same way that he trains his horses and manages his staff. He is the ultimate control freak, seeing Roan as a commodity. He doesn’t allow her to have a cell phone or social media accounts, but he has online accounts in her name. He posts information about her equestrian events and has formulated a public image that he can control. He demands that she have a persona in public. Every time he called her "Darlin,” I almost shrieked aloud.

The dictionary says that if you describe someone as a dark horse, you mean that people know very little about them. Well, Gertrude, the family’s cook, and Eddie, the hired groom for the horses, practically live under the same roof and know very little about what Roan endures regularly. They’ve known Monty, Roan’s father, for much longer and don’t seem to know what he is capable of doing to his daughter. Mihalic and her editors have certainly chosen a title with profound significance. The literal horses in the story are characters—Jasper, Diva, and Vigo and vital to the story; Roan has relationships with each of them, a markedly better relationship with Jasper than with any human. On the first pages of the book, Roan’s classmates refer to her as a horse girl. This is another expression that has taken on layers of meaning in the modern world.

Although her father claims that boys would be a distraction to her training and the reader knows that the father doesn’t want another competitor for her body, Roan becomes attracted to Will Howard, a boy from school. He asks her out on a date, which her father doesn’t allow. It is through Will, her first male friend, that Roan finally learns the difference between compliant and complicit and eventually victimhood. It becomes apparent that this book's storyline about breeding and riding horses is only surface level. The book is really about the darkness in life.

Susan Mihalic is quite the writer. She angered me with the story's content and the graphic sex scenes, yet kept me gripped to the last page. I thank her and Simon and Schuster for allowing me a glimpse of this new author by providing an ARC.

https://quipsandquotes.net/?p=218 ( )
  LindaLoretz | Mar 15, 2021 |
This was an advanced reader’s copy that I was unsure about asking for, as I’m not a teenage-girl-and-her-horse kind of a reader. Be assured that I never had a single thought of Black Beauty, as I was quickly drawn into this very unique story about a fifteen-year-old champion rider, her relationships with the horses she loved, and the father that she climaxed with. Yep, there’s a lot going on here.

The father in the story is a former Olympian champion and a greatly admired equestrian coach. He’s very demanding and domineering of his students, especially when it comes to his young daughter, Roan. Her mother is a marginal figure in her life, as she is addled on drink and drugs most all the time, except for when she took her daughter shopping.

Being a champion and coaching has rewarded the family with a large ranch, plenty of servants, and a stable of quality horses. Roan is as driven as her Daddy. Her training schedule leaves hardly any free time, and that’s mostly just fine with Roan, as she only looks with her mental blinders on to the next competition.

Eventually the mother’s affairs catch up with her. She disappears from Roan’s life when her parents divorce and Mama leaves with the millions prescribed in the prenup. Oh joy, just father and daughter alone in that huge home after the servants leave each night.

The most disturbing scenes are when she is repeatedly taken by Daddy, and she even climaxes with him, as he’s the only lover she’s known since she was sexually assaulted at age five. Eventually, Will, a classmate of hers, becomes her friend. Their relationship gets intimate, and there’s more creepiness when she thinks of their sexual acts in comparison to the only other lover she has ever had, Daddy.

The book was intense and well written, as well as disturbing and distressing. You are quickly drawn into the story of this abused girl, and learn about these extremely driven and competitive people who simply are incapable to imagine a different way to see people and the world. Certainly, the abuse is central to the story, but Roan is still growing up and realizing what she wants out of life, and the book is all about power. Her love for Will leads to some extreme situations that help to change her life entirely. There’s a fascinating and shocking ending that will stay in any reader’s mind for some time. This book leaves a stark stamp on any reader. ( )
  jphamilton | Feb 17, 2021 |
This book is dark in many ways, the most serious being the sexual abuse, elite equestrian rider, Roan, experiences. Her abusive father has great power over her. He’s caused Roan’s mother to flee the marriage because he refuses to share his teenage daughter with anyone. Her life is spent going to school, studying, and preparing for the Olympics. When a young man shows interest in her and Roan realizes how her life is not her own, she begins to fight back, but the power her father has over her is immense. This is one of the most powerful, intense debut novels I have read. ( )
  brangwinn | Feb 16, 2021 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"A taut and darkly gripping debut novel about a fierce teenaged girl's struggle to reclaim her life. Fifteen-year-old Roan has always known two worlds: inside the horse riding arena, and outside. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all aspects 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 incestuous. 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, the arrival of Will, a new teenage love, brings everything into focus."--

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