THE GHOST STALLION by Laura E. Williams


Age Range: 10 - 14
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Williams (Behind the Bedroom Wall, 1996, etc.) tells of an estranged father and daughter in a novel that gains strength from the magnitude of the gulf between them, and loses power when that gulf is too-easily bridged. Her mother is gone, and Mary Elizabeth’s angry, bitter father has no use for her. When he heads out to kill a wild stallion who keeps luring away the mares that are the family’s livelihood, Mary Elizabeth goes with him, hoping to save the stallion. With them comes a stranger, never named, who may be Mary Elizabeth’s real father. When she is almost killed, and the stranger offers to let her leave with him, she is tempted and her father begins to have a change of heart. Despite Williams’s poetic writing and steady revealing of Mary Elizabeth’s character, she resorts to melodramatics: the father, who was grimly determined to kill the stallion, becomes equally determined to save it; he completely changes his attitude toward his daughter, as well. Only his inconsistent characterization mars the piece, but it is on his credibility that the rest of the story hangs. It is often compelling, and many passages are filled with loss and longing that are nearly palpable. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8050-6193-2
Page count: 100pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 1999