Breed of Giants by Joyce Stranger is a tale of hard working farmers and their life in a small country town. Josh Johnson breeds Shire horses on his farm, eager to keep alive a breed that is no longer being solely utilised for farm work.
Josh and his wife Peg struggle to keep things afloat financially and an attack on one of Josh’s great stallions dashes his dreams of promoting the breed further whilst also earning a nice income. The tale takes an amusing turn as Josh promises vengeance on a badger that he is convinced attacked his horse.
A local show that brings all of the inhabitants – animal and human alike – together seems to be a great way to raise spirits. However, it was also the perfect opportunity to spread foot and mouth disease, as one farm is found with affected stock and all others are placed on a time watch, to see if their stock show the tell tale signs.
The story highlights the hard times that farmers face and the issue of aging men who lose their homes and dread the thought of entering a home and losing their much loved pets on top of this. It has a melancholy twist to it that thankfully picks up at the end. An interesting read that is enlightening though at times a bit slow paced and sad.
Author – Joyce Stranger
In my library? – It is. It’s nice to find another fictional piece aimed at adult readers.
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“The old mare watched the tractor work. A thing of rubber and steel, ready to follow the slightest wish of the man who held the wheel. She said to herself as it passed by, you gave me an awful jolt. But there’s still one thing you cannot do, you cannot raise a colt.” – Author unknown