SUMMER'S CHANCE by Patricia Harrison Easton


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Elizabeth, 14, unwillingly spends the summer on her grandmother's farm, hoping at least to learn more about her mother, who died when Elizabeth was a small child--but nothing turns out as she had planned. Grandma Bates, who trains horses for harness racing, refuses to talk about her daughter. Horses are her one passion; Elizabeth's mild interest in them is mixed with apprehension. Only Carrie, who had been her mother's best friend, shares the memories that Elizabeth longs to hear; she also secretly encourages Elizabeth to drive Chance, last foal from her mother's champion pacer. When Chance's leg bows, Grandma Bates is furious; but her anger forces her and Elizabeth to share their pain and begin building a relationship. For horse-story fans, there are some nitty-gritty details and even exhilarating descriptions of harness racing here. But Elizabeth's story is introspective and slow to build, and characters (along with the romantic interest) are never fully developed. Ultimately, the forced resolution between Elizabeth and her grandmother is unsatisfying.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Page count: 150pp
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich