RIDING HIGH by Emily Brooks


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Horses, relationship dramas, and the manners and personalities of a moneyed rural enclave--all spawn some buoyant entertainment from a pseudonymous writing team. At the time of their Princeton graduation, best rivals Wirelegs Manville and Conrad Miles made a bet: whoever cleared the most fences in riding competition over the next 50 years would win a giant piece of jointly held land in their horse-country hometown of Edgeville, New Jersey. As reckoning-up date approaches, the two men are tied on fences, but have endured more wrenching competition: for beautiful Serena, who died in a tragic accident. Meanwhile, there's lots of other minor drama afoot: Wirelegs' son-in-law, Amory Nugent, who raises deer for a living, hoping venison will catch on as a major food-fad, wants nothing more than to start a family. But his wife Carlin cherishes a dream of going to the Olympics on the US Equestrian team, so babies must wait. Will their marriage survive their differences? Wirelegs' sister Halite is entering into a delicious flirtation with her straight-laced butler. Conrad's wife Peg revels in her husband's high-tone life-style but is sexually restless, and open to the charms of an ambitious vet. And Marjo, the local aerobics teacher, feels snubbed by the horsey set and wishes for more time to paint. Wirelegs, desperately ill but still a master manipulator, contrives a grand scheme to make the dreams of all his favorites come true. A full house of likable oddballs populates this hunt-club soap opera. Although the multiple happy endings add up to a rather irritating celebration of the status quo, still, for the crowd that loves Norwich terriers, noontime sherry, and beagling, a bracing outing indeed.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Poseidon/Simon & Schuster