Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Book Review: Queen Rider by Alan Davidson

Impossible Bonnie Wyndham, expelled from her last three schools, knows she's only been accepted at sports-mad Almonside because she's a superb rider. She doesn't intend to stay long. Just long enough to prove she's the best. But equally Ruth Caradon, her tough, soft-spoken riding instructor, doesn't intend to let Bonnie get the better of her and queen it around Almonside. Or -- is their conflict about something different altogether? 

A riveting study of a power struggle, with a nail-biting show jumping background.

My Review:
I first read this book back in the 80's when I was in the middle of my horse phase! I looked for it for many years but never found it until about a year ago so I was keen to read it again.

I forgot what a bitch Bonnie was! She is a spoiled brat who seems to be putting her mother through hell because of the divorce. She is determined to hate everyone, be rude and nasty, and get expelled again, even if all this crap of hers is costing her mother money she no longer has. You would think that ending up at a school with wonderful riding facilities would have been great for horse mad Bonnie but she is determined to make herself unpopular instead of enjoying herself for once. This school would have been the best place for her if she had just given it a try instead of behaving in her usual manner and doing what she likes. When I read this book as a kid I admired her as being a rebel but reading it now she is just a spoiled, stuck up little madam who needs a good slap.

Her mother is as bad, not setting boundaries for her daughter and never spending time with her. Instead of forcing Bonnie to accept their new circumstances she does what people generally do when they have little contact with them-throw money at them. Struggling to give spoiled Bonnie everything she wants just feeds the monster that the girl has become. This is something that Ruth recognises as being part of Bonnie's problems.

I liked Ruth, the riding teacher. She feels insecure and out of place at such a posh school, amongst the rich people she would rather avoid. Ruth grew up with nothing and gets angry every time she hears spoiled rich people moan about their life. She doesn't mix with the staff and is at a loss as to how to deal with Bonnie, trying to reach out and be friends and when it is thrown back in her face, she decides to bring her down at what the girl loves most-riding. Her plan is really crazy and will lead to her possibly losing her job if it fails.

It is a good, well written story for anyone who loves horses. I used to get this book out of the library on a regular basis though I never owned a copy until now. It is an interesting battle of wills between two strong and stubborn females who both need to win for their own reasons. Children and YA readers will enjoy this one but it is suitable for all ages to enjoy.
star rating photo: Three Star Rating 3stars.png

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