- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 27 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: December 9, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00PX4LP0M
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Language of Hoofbeats Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
The oldest of the three children in the Archer-Cummings household, Star, is an extremely difficult, defensive and intransigent fifteen year old. She is also horse crazy, and immediately discovers Comet, falls in love with him, and is infuriated by the neglect he is suffering...and meanwhile, predictably, Clementine is equally infuriated that this brash girl has the presumption to come on her property, touch her horse, and otherwise make a nuisance of herself. And when Clementine is angry, she doesn't mince words.
The story is told in first person, chapters alternating between Clementine and Jackie as narrator. The tone is pitch-perfect, and the characterizations of these two women as well as all the other "cast members" are masterfully developed through these alternating perspectives. The major crisis event is of course predictable; Star, completely unable to bear the perceived misery that neglect has visited upon Comet, and being prone to running away due to previous experiences, steals the horse and heads for the hills. This has the inevitable negative effect of pushing Clementine over the edge with a major breakdown, so Paula and Jackie have to deal with that as well as the anxiety of the search for the missing horse and girl.
Catherine Ryan Hyde, however, has a miraculous touch for developing a plot in which negativity and grimness merge seamlessly with healthy attitudes and positive outcomes. There is no unrealistic "changing" of people's natures so much as a development of more positive and constructive attitudes and an awareness of better ways of being and doing. In a way, the "working out" of this story reminded me very much (in tone, not in plot detail) of one of the cherished classics of my childhood, "The Secret Garden" by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Star reflects Mary, and Quinn is the Dickon character (he's even a redhead). And of course Clementine would parallel Archibald Craven, so mentally unbalanced by a past grief as to be unable to deal with anyone or anything else. And, like that wonderful novel, "The Language of Hoofbeats" ends up with a full complement of happy endings and ongoing joys.
This story is not so much about the horse, but him as an instrument to bridge gaps between people, neighbors. Some ties are just too broken to mend, but most can still be put back together, with openness, communication, an honest self-assessment and acceptance, the willingness to change,love, and time.
These are the timeless topics that Ms. Ryan Hyde is so very brilliant at expounding into beautiful stories. I don't think I'll ever tire of reading her books.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have seen it called a YA book and I am not certain how it's officially being catalogued but it doesn't matter, this story would be, and should be, read by middle schoolers on up. I'm 50 and I would recommend it to all my friends. It is a well balanced well written story of loss and longing and hope and belonging. It's put together in a structure that is mature and real but at the same time there isn't anything here that is inappropriate for younger readers.
I don't think the story follows a typical lifetime/hallmark outline and that's a very good thing.
It reminded me me a little of the show on abc family called the fosters. Also half the chapters are written from the perspective of a cranky older neighbor who I found myself reading with the voice of judge Judy. (This book is better than the fosters IMO)
Bottom line, great book.
And that juxtaposition heightens the telling of this tale. We see Clementine and Jackie, as alternating narrators, at odds with each other. And more importantly we witness how they are also in conflict within themselves and their perceptions of each other.
How Ms. Hyde manages such a wealth of sub textual storytelling, in such easy lines, makes me come back again and again to her novels. In the case of ‘The Language of Hoofbeats’, there is what seems like the very first time, a couple: two married women, as major characters and this author has given them to us ‘as a given’. That in its self was a great aspect to this compelling tale.
Again, I’m taken farther through a novel than I expected when reading the blurb. Ms. Hyde always does this, and luckily, her novels always surprise and delight me to find she has again.
I can’t say more than. ‘Add this new novel to your collection, it will be one you read more than once.’