Synopsis from HarperCollins:
An enchanting and inspiring stand-alone novel from the author of The Princess and the Foal.
Maisie has always loved horses. She is also a talented artist. When the opportunity arises for her to study in Paris, her two worlds collide. There, in the heart of the city, Maisie finds the childhood diary of famous horse artist, Rose Bonifait, and meets the beautiful black stallion, Claude.
As the two girls’ stories emerge, tragedies unfold – both past and present – and Maisie realises that she can’t begin to imagine life without her forever horse…
About: The Forever Horse is a middle grade fiction written by Stacy Gregg. It was recently rereleased on 8/17/21 by HarperCollins Children’s Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, paperback, 232 pages. The genres are middle grade fiction, historical Europe, and animals. According to the publisher’s website, “Harper 360 is our global publishing initiative, publishing books in English from HarperCollins UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and India offices and books in Spanish from HarperCollins Iberica and Mexico offices. We publish in all genres of adult, children’s and YA books, and in all formats—print, e-book, and digital audio.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading The Forever Horse on 10/1/2021 and finished it on 10/4/2021. An excellent read, it was good to see French language among the passages. This book is good for young readers because there are definitions to words like scholarship and prodigy. An interesting read where this book has two story running parallel, one in the current day and the other took place in 1852-1853 via a diary. Rose’s diary was a fantastic read! She’s awesome especially with gender issues. I loved getting to know Rose and Maisie. They were both well liked characters as well as Oscar, Nicole, and Francoise. I don’t grow up with horses but this story with a horse so loving like Claude made me love them and I cried when Claude got hurt.
This book started at an auction house. Art collectors were bidding for arts from graduates of the Parisian school. One of the paintings up for auction was from Maisie, 13 and she’s standing in the back worrying about raising her hands to scratch herself and mistakenly taken as a bid. She painted her favorite horse Claude and the bidding went beyond the price she was expecting. But she left during the bidding war to go spend remaining precious time with Claude because Claude’s in pain. Then the story began, one year earlier, told in the first person point of view. Maisie loved horse and painting starting at the age of 5 when her dad took her to an art gallery that has a painting of a horse that was worth 13 million pounds. As her art skills progressed, her dad applied to an art school in Paris and she got accepted. Her education into the art world in Paris was not easy especially when she’s a 13 year-old from England attending classes with college students in Paris. There’s an epilogue at the end of the book that reads like an author’s note.
The Forever Horse was well written and a page turner. I don’t know much about art even though I have visited many museums so I loved getting to know about artists and how they work. Child prodigy are amazing in general and it’s good to read about them in books. I’m the same way with Maisie in that I don’t find the new contemporary art beautiful, especially that ridiculous banana that was duct taped to a wall that was sold for $120k in 2019! I was not expecting a terrorist attack scene so it was good to be reminded of it because nowadays, covid is the main worry. The ending didn’t mentioned about why the painting in Paris showed Rose standing on her legs when the diary stated otherwise. A great read nonetheless and I recommend everyone to read this book!
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Stacy Gregg completely understands the desperation of wannabe horsey girls who want a pony of their own. She spent many frustrating horse-less years training her bewildered dog to showjump in the back yard until her parents gave in and she got her first pony – a swaybacked brown mare named Bonnie. Stacy’s ponies, and her experiences at her local pony club provided the inspiration for the Pony Club Secrets books. Her later years at boarding school are now coming in handy too as the catalyst for the upcoming new series Pony Club Rivals.
A board member of the SPCA’s Horse Welfare Auxiliary, Stacy actively works towards creating better lives for horses and currently rides her beloved Dutch Warmblood gelding, Ash.
A former high-profile fashion editor (she was a judge on the New Zealand version of TV’s Next Top Model and editor-at-large of Fashion Quarterly Magazine), Gregg has no regrets about trading her Christian Louboutins for life in gum boots. She lives in Auckland with her partner Michael, their daughter and assorted animals. (Photo and info obtained from HarperCollins’ website).
More Information about HarperCollins 360
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to HarperCollins 360 for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.