bad weather, blizzard, book review, Christmas, Christmas Eve, contemporary fiction, delivering a foal, family, foals, friendship, generosity, Gifts, gratitude, growing up, handicaps, horse breeding, horse farm, horse rescue, horses, Kristen D Randle, Love, maturity, Morgan horses, pregnancy, rehabilitation, romance, snow, storytelling, teenagers, The Christmas Pony, the meaning of Christmas, winter, YA fiction
Book Review: The Christmas Pony – Kristen D. Randle Xan (Alexandra) lives on a rescue horse farm, where horses and children get second chances. She has a warm, loving family, but she is restless and unhappy, yearning for something bigger in her life than unrequited love and dealing with her family and incompetent ranch hands. Then her large, extended family arrives at the farm for Christmas Eve just before a blizzard hits and the power goes out. As the family scrambles to adapt, Xan’s first thoughts are for her pregnant mare. Through a series of misunderstandings, her beloved horses have been left out in the storm, and Xan risks her life by going out to find them. I loved this novelette. It read like a beautiful, lyrical dream. Xan is a real teenager, full of good intentions, grumpiness, and rough edges, unable to see how good her life is until tragedy hits. She learns the lessons of life slowly, as we all do, and she becomes a better person because of what she experiences. She even finds her own romance. I wish I could have grown up on a horse farm with her family. The story was so vivid, and I was right there, experiencing the blizzard, Xan’s fears, and finally, her realization that she has everything she really needs. I especially liked how the realities of normal family life, friendship, and love were portrayed. Kristen Randle is a master storyteller. I have enjoyed every book she has written.