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by Lynn Hall

Pub Date: May 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-15-228790-6
Publisher: Harcourt

A penetrating look at a pivotal week in the life of a young girl who has been living on a ranch with her father and grandmother. Denny's father, a womanizer who makes his living on the rodeo circuit, is returning home after being paralyzed in an accident. Denny has lost her heart, and her virginity, to a young man staying at the ranch—a younger version of her father, she suspects. Her mother, who deserted the family years before, also returns, showing a sudden concern for her injured husband and hoping to open a pet-care salon. From beginning to end, this is a woman's story—the male characters are all-too-insincere and almost proudly irresponsible. Still, Hall offers a brilliant portrait of the games adults play, games in which Denny is reasonably sure she won't take part. The title refers to an ordinary subplot involving a horse (the sale of which will save the ranch). Otherwise, the story unfolds as an earthy, idiosyncratic surprise. (Fiction. 12+)