Title: Dark Horses: A Novel
Author: Susan Mihalic
Release Date: February 16th 2021
A darkly gripping debut novel about a teenage girl’s fierce struggle to reclaim her life from her abusive father.
Fifteen-year-old equestrian prodigy Roan Montgomery has only ever known two worlds: inside the riding arena, and outside of it. Both, for as long as she can remember, have been ruled by her father, who demands strict obedience in all areas of her life. The warped power dynamic of coach and rider extends far beyond the stables, and Roan’s relationship with her father has long been inappropriate. She has been able to compartmentalize that dark aspect of her life, ruthlessly focusing on her ambitions as a rider heading for the Olympics, just as her father had done. However, her developing relationship with Will Howard, a boy her own age, broadens the scope of her vision.
At the intersection of a commercial page-turner and urgent survivor story, Dark Horses takes the searing themes of abuse and resilience in Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling and applies the compelling exploration of female strength in Room by Emma Donoghue. In much the same way that V.C. Andrews’s Flowers in the Attic transfixed a generation of readers, Susan Mihalic’s debut is set to a steady beat that will keep you turning the pages.
Dark Horse is one of the reads that feels like a punch to your gut but in a good way. There’s a lot of emotions being felt. They range from sorrow to anger and it sort of just stays there. I felt for Roan. That sense of hopelessness she was feeling, transferred over to me and I wanted to jump into the book and save her. I wanted more for her. This may be a hard read for some readers. It has triggers and I say proceed with caution. Roan’s story a hauntingly beautiful. The characters were well written. Some I loved and some I wanted to choke. A twist and an ending I didn’t see coming. I was not disappointed.
This is an emotional and dark read. It deals with abusive and that is not something that’s easy to read about. The author did a wonderful job on the story telling. Her writing is brilliant and I look forward to reading more books by her. I give this 5 stars.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion*