I decided a couple of weeks ago I wanted to read a chunky novel that was fiction for the older reader and so picked up Bred to Win by William Kinsolving out of my bookshelf.
Kinsolving made it easy for me to feel for the main character – a rising 15 year old girl who is no stranger to poverty and abuse. Having been blamed for her mother’s death, Annie struggles to survive with her older brothers and drunk father. At 15 she is given an opportunity to set her life on a different course and grabs it without much thought.
Making her way to a racetrack, luck is with her as she meets a man who introduces her to many in the horse industry; landing her a job and the chance to earn an income. As Annie’s lack of skills with horses improves, her knack with the thoroughbred breed becomes obvious to many and she is given opportunity to move on from being a hot walker to the groom of a few horses.
Annie’s endeavours at the track are in a bid to run into Sam Cumberland – a man 10 years her senior she met after a train crash and fell for. Although the escape from home proves to be promising for the young teen, her introduction to the racing world and some of it’s more shady characters soon sets her path in an interesting direction.
Bred to Win is a lengthy story that covers a lot of interesting racing history – the author has obviously done his research. Unfortunately it is also full of affairs, sex, drugs and alcohol, themes that would have me hesitant to recommend the book to many.
The main character Annie is incredibly strong and her tenacity to push on with life when things keep going wrong make her a truly enjoyable character. Woven into the story are some other broken but delightfully interesting people. It is these characters and the strength of horse information across American and French racing that makes it such an enjoyable read.
Author: William Kinsolving
Fiction – adult
In my library? It is; I’d be apprehensive to let young minds read it on account of some adult content, but otherwise a really interesting read.
Want it? Get it now at Amazon.
“A horse in the wind – a perfect symphony.” – Author Unknown