Book Review: “Sweetbriars, Leaving the City”

It’s been awhile since I wrote about a new book I read, and today is a good day to review and recommend one. Although I have been busy lately tending our gardens, doing a little travelling, and drafting a new novelette, I always set aside a couple of hours each evening to read the books in my library. In this case, the author, Hollie Anne Marsh, got in touch with me and asked if I would be interested in reading and reviewing one of her books, “Sweetbriars, Leaving the City”. It has horses in it, so there was no hesitating on my part.

What an absolutely sweet and engaging story! I am weak for anything equestrian, and I had a hunch this novel would feed my “weakness.” I’m glad it did, and this story swept me away.

To summarize, Cate and her family moved to the Devon countryside from Hertfordshire, and she had to leave behind all that she knew in life: Her best friend, Beth, her classmates, the familiar landscape, et cetera. One of the best things, though, about moving to the country is that the family now lived on a horse farm, where she could ride with her mom and brother, help her dad, and engage in and compete in the pony club. Cate makes a friend in Violet, a quirky girl who is also feeling the effects of a new environment. Over time, Cate and her newfound friends get to know the mysterious Sophia, a girl who isn’t quite like the rest of them, but still loves horses, too. Ah, the comfort of shared passions!

I can’t say enough good about “Leaving the City.” The masterful writing skills of the author, Hollie Anne Marsh, impressed me greatly. I was reading a story, yet I felt completely immersed in the tale, the environments, the conversations, and the understanding of different personalities and cultures. At the end of this wonderful, wonderful story is a chapter on all the horse lingo—“from ears to tail”—that the reader should know to help round the understand of everything equestrian.

This book brought back some good memories for me, in the days of my childhood where I sometimes rode horses at the stable just eight blocks from my house, to the mornings after breakfast when I would ride my bicycle to that stable, sit on the fence, and watch and dream while I watched older kids take lessons. It was a rare occasion when I would have the three dollars saved so I could ride a horse for one hour in the ring, or venture across the street to the forest preserve and pretend I was Joan of Arc or Dale Evans (It didn’t matter who, as long as I was riding a horse!). “Leaving the City” has a lot of scenarios that are reminiscent of events I personally went through: Changing towns and schools at “that awkward pre-teen age” stage, my love of horses and riding, and the politics of making new friends and navigating a new type of life.

I highly recommend Hollie Anne Marsh‘s book,  “Sweetbriars, Leaving the City.” This is a good book for those who love horses and enjoy stories of growing up. I give it ten out of ten horseshoes. It would make a dandy, thoughtful gift for a young person who loves to read, and who wants to get lost in the equestrian world. You can find this book on Amazon. Check out the Kindle version HERE, or the paperback version HERE.

You can read more of my book reviews on Goodreads by following the link to my page HERE.

©Susan Marie Molloy and all works within.

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5 Comments on “Book Review: “Sweetbriars, Leaving the City”

  1. Thank you Susan, this is very much appreciated and I’m delighted you love my first book. It means so much to me! I hope your having a wonderful day tending to your gardens. Hollie

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, Hollie! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I hope others will be inspired to read it, too! Gardening was tiring; hot as an oven today! 🙂

      Like

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