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Another Kind of Cowboy Hardcover – December 18, 2007
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“pitch-perfect comedic voices” (Kirkus Reviews (starred))
“I really love it!! I laughed so hard in places and found others so poignant” - Patricia Lasko, Editor (Patricia Lasko, Editor, Dressage Today)
“Wry humor infuses this story with a gentle warmth.” (ALA Booklist)
“Juby delicately weaves humor with poignant drama.” (Pacific & Prairie Horse Journal)
About the Author
SUSAN JUBY is the author of the critically acclaimed Getting the Girl and Another Kind of Cowboy, as well as the bestselling Alice series (Alice, I Think; Miss Smithers; Alice MacLeod, Realist at Last) and her latest novel for adults, The Woefield Poultry Collective. After dropping out of fashion college and attaining a BA from the University of British Columbia, Susan went to work in the book industry. She holds a master’s degree in publishing. She currently lives on Vancouver Island with her husband, James, and their dog, who prefers to remain anonymous. Visit her online at susanjuby.com.
Top customer reviews
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The story focuses on two characters, Alex and Cleo. Both are around 16, and very different from each other. Other than their age, the only thing they seem to have in common is that they ride horses Dressage style and take lessons from the same instructors. Yet, the two form an unlikely bond. Cleo is a spoiled rich girl from California, and Alex is from a lower middle class family in a rural community in Canada. Initially, Cleo develops a crush on Alex, who is gay and in the closet, and their friendship evolves from there.
The character of Alex was the best. Cleo was interesting, but a bit whiny for my taste. Although because Cleo was a good friend to Alex, and helped him come out of his shell, I liked her. Alex is ultimately the one I kept turning the pages for, I would love to read more about his story in another book! He was really a great character.
Anyhow, I loved this book, like I said I'm glad I got it. I'd like to read more about Alex (and Cleo) if the author picks the characters back up.
I'd recommend it for readers of all ages. Enjoy!
Alex's passion for riding, and dressage, is almost an obsession; and if you read between the lines of his childhood, you will understand that is also an escape from reality. His mother divorced not only her husband, but also her children; Alex is alone in raising two little sister, since not his aunt or his father are of much help, his father even moved in a roulotte in the front garden, probably to not have to live in an house without the woman he loved. But Alex's father is not a bad man, nor when he is sober or drunk, he is only extremely sad; he is really not able to take care of his children but that doesn't mean he doesn't love them, and so, when he gets a chance, he brings home an horse, a real horse, for Alex (see living in a country small town? You can have a barn in the backgarden instead of a shed for a dog...).
Problem is that, a) the horse is not a dressage horse and b) even if the horse was, there is no one around there that can teach Alex dressage. And so Alex becomes a little champion of western riding, with cowboy hats and boots, all the while dreaming of tight breeches and top hats. If an external viewer can see that, other than being an escape from reality, Alex's obsession for dressage is also a proof that he has a sensibility that is completely different, and greater, than a normal boy, it's not until he hits puberty that Alex realizes that he is gay. But there is no "gay" in the small town, no one he knows who is, no one he can relate, same as it was for dressage: dressage and gay are "stranger" things, not "normal", and if you like them you are not normal as well.
Alex's luck changes when Ivan and Fergus move in town: both former dressage champion, they have a beautiful house with attached horse riding and they are willing to teach Alex. To an adult reader, it's clear that Ivan and Fergus are a couple, but there is no hint of sex, no kiss, nothing: Ivan and Fergus are two horse lovers who are eager to share their love with the others. They are not an example for Alex of how being gay is, but maybe they are giving him an idea of what being gay and having a career related to horses can be. Alex will discover his sexuality (but only for what concerns kisses) with another teenager, finding out that he is not so strange after all, and that even in the small town where he lives there are other like him, and more than what you will expect.
Another Kind of Cowboy is a really sweet and tender story, a romance between teenagers that remains on a teenager level, not adult feelings or issues to ruin the discovery of first love; and even if you read it from an adult perspective, the sweetness is so nice that is good to lose yourself in an innocent world.