A lyrical coming-of-age story about a boy, a girl, and a horse - and how a chance encounter can lead to a life of intrigue and learning, a life beyond imagining.
When Thomas Rose first spots the girl hidden by the roadside, she looks as drab as a lark, with only her red kerchief giving her away. But French Hélène, who goes by "Ling," is no ordinary bird. Tiny Ling enchants Thomas with her wild spirit and tales of a circus where she danced atop her beloved horse, Belladonna. But the horse has been sold, and Ling must fetch her back. Now Thomas’s life as a clever but unschooled wheelwright’s son is about to change. Their search leads to painter George Stubbs, who euthanizes ailing animals in order to study their anatomy. Stubbs draws eerie horses that stride as if they could move out of the paper world into the real one?but he assures his young friends that their horse is safe at a nearby estate. As Ling and Thomas devise a risky plan to recover Belladonna, Stubbs hires Thomas as an apprentice, teaching him to read and write as well. In this fascinating story, Mary Finn incorporates a real eighteenth-century artist into a beautifully imagined tale of adventure and young romance.
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When Thomas Rose first spots the girl concealed in a ditch outside his rural village, she looks as drab as a lark, blending with the English countryside. Only her bright-red kerchief gives her away. Yet French Hélène, who goes by “Ling” ;- ;for the year is 1757, and England and France are at war ; — ; is no ordinary bird. She is tiny and agile, with huge dark eyes and hair as black as plums. Ling enchants Thomas with tales of the circus, where she danced atop Belladonna, a pure-white horse with a tail the color of barley. But the leader of the troupe has sold Belladonna, and as Ling and Thomas set out to find her and fetch her back ;— ; with help from a mysterious painter and anatomist ; — ; Thomas knows that his simple life, that of a clever but unschooled wheelwright’s son, is about to change forever. Acclaimed author Mary Finn has crafted a lyrical coming-of-age story about a boy, a girl, and a horse ; — ; and about how a chance encounter can lead to a life of daring, intrigue, and learning, a life beyond imagining.About the Author:
Mary Finn is the author of the young adult novel Anila's Journey. She lives in Dublin, Ireland.
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