“When a horse jumps, the sparks of love are born; when lightning strikes, it can take the legs from right out under you. A blessing of a novel from one of Australia’s finest writers.” Drusilla Modgeska
I just finished reading Foal’s Bread by Gillian Mears as recommended to me by a friend. I thoroughly enjoyed this fictional story set prior to World War II in rural New South Wales. Before reading this novel, I was never aware of the high-jumping circuit that circulated throughout rural shows, where brave rider’s and horse’s would leap over 6ft high fences. I became lost in Mears breathtaking descriptions of the intimate partnership between equine and human and at times felt that I was in the saddle. Mears cleverly spins an intricate web of relationships that are intimate, elating and more often heartbreakingly sad in particular those between husband and wife, mother and daughter and father and daughter. Her razor-sharp descriptions of the Australian bush and thundering story line allows this book to earn a place on my book shelf.
And to explain the title, here is an extract from the book.
“Just every now and then,” he explained, “a foal is born with something that looks like a little slice of bread in its mouth.” His hands tried to describe the shape and size of the mystery. “Fact is, no one knows what it is exactly. In a high-jump foal, it’s a sure sign he’ll got to the heights; for a galloper, fast.”
Have you read this book? What did you think?