Friday, 10 January 2014

Flying Changes by Caroline Akrill - reviewed by Karen Bush

Flying Changes
I've always loved Caroline Akrill's writing - she is one of those authors who deserves to be both better known and still in print. Although you can still buy some of her books secondhand on Amazon, they are getting more and more scarce: possibly because they aren't books which, once read, you donate to the charity shop or a jumble sale - you hang on to them because you know you'll want to read them again. And again ... and they definitely do bear re-reading. Happily, Flying Changes is now available as an ebook and the others will be following before too long.
If you haven't read any of Caroline's books before, you have a real treat in store: if you have read some of the others, then you'll find this one is a bit darker in nature, although still peppered with those farcical moments which are not only very funny but completely believable.
The tales follows the progress of  Oliver Jasny from the gymkhana ring of his youth to the heights of top class dressage via the show ring; dedicated, talented and utterly ruthless in his determination to reach the top. Told from the point of view of his sister, on the surface it's a fairly simple story, but there's actually a lot going on and some very clever and subtle character development. It's a story which will certainly stay with you long after you have finished it - and don't be put off by thinking that it is a book which will only appeal to you if you are horsy. It is just as readable even if you don't know one end of a horse from the other!