The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, by Megan Shepherd – a review

This is astonishing, magical, and totally unexpected.

A book to keep and to savour forever. Congratulations to all for the brilliant combination of story and illustrations.

The story follows an orphaned, ill girl who is sent to a country hospital (a former manor house) during WWII to be treated for tuberculosis, but although that is the story line, that is not really what this book is about.

Life, death, imagination, magic, the veil between the worlds, the realms of possibility, the lasting impressions of love. If this book was a poem, I would call it a meditation, reflective but not mournful, though it deals with the hard, inescapable facts of our mortality.

Viewed through the eyes of children, this novel is an absolute treat.

Memorable and somehow inevitable: reading about the secret winged horses of Briar Hill immediately makes me believe in them – as if I had always known that they existed.

Read it; I hope you will be just as pleased to add these divine creatures to your inner landscape.

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