Like Gillian in Fields of Praise (above), Joanna thinks and dreams horses, neglects and thus fails in her school work, and has a beloved older riding coach, a writer father, and siblings who turn in to help raise horse money. But Joanna's family is more conventional than Gill's both as people and as characters, and though Joanna starts off with bad luck--an accident that will interrupt her ribbon-collecting career for a year--this ends up with everyone on Cloud Nine. The horse in question is one about to be sold by Holmwood Farms, where Joanna rides and gives lessons, and it's a neighbor, Mrs. Williams, who can't bear to see it go. But when owner Mr. Holms hears of the lady's distress he decides just-like-that to keep Othello (and starts dating the divorced Mrs. Williams to boot). What's more, Joanna herself gets, as she puts it, ""to have her cake and eat it too""--that is, resume her show career and keep up the riding school she'd started as a substitute when she couldn't ride. Mrs. Williams' conflict between her dream of a horse and her responsibilities to her young daughters may strike a contemporary chord but certainly rings no changes; and neither Joanna's early self-pity nor her later devotion to the widow's cause is very compelling.