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Figgy O'Connell

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BOOK REVIEW: The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd, illustrated by Levi Penfold

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill - Megan Shepherd

 

The images within this book are evocative, gorgeous, and just downright perfect, with occasional double spread images that help to fill out the picture. But the words in themselves will reach right into your heart and pull on those strings. In truth, my feelings about this book actually grew overnight, between staying up late to finish the last few chapters and sitting down to write this review the following evening.

 

Upon closing this book, I felt there were too many things left unanswered, but after letting it sit for a day the full picture has become clearer, with the areas that felt less well fleshed out a day ago opening up to all the possibilities of interpretation.

 

This is a story about a time when everyone was on high-alert, and the battle on the front lines wasn’t the only one being fought. This is a story of kids who have experienced loss and will continue to do so, whose only personal items were donated by people across the pond in America. In this world, everyone is broken in one way or another.

Dr Turner is like Thomas: he isn’t whole. Only whole men can go to war to fight the Germans. But what Dr Turner is missing isn’t an arm or a leg or even a finger. It’s a part of his heart. It’s the daughter and wife he lost to the bombs. The missing part that makes him twitch when there is a thunderstorm – like that one time when lightning struck the roof and he crawled under the kitchen table like a dog and made a strange, frightened sound, until Sisters Constance and Mary Grace coaxed him out with weak tea.

 

 

The rest of this review can be found HERE!