I was rapt to find this short story free on Kindle recently. Saratoga Summers by Mara Dabrishus provides a little more insight into the lives of July Carter and Beck Delaney. For readers of Stay the Distance you’ll already be familiar with these two characters.
Saratoga Summers explores six different summers as July grows up, starting with her parents first being employed to work for the Delaney’s. In fact, ‘Saratoga Summers is a fifty-page short story prequel—and immediate sequel—to Stay the Distance.’
At the start of this story, July is 14 and her whole life is horses and her family working with them. This doesn’t change, even as her mother spends months away from the family, pursuing her riding career.
As it becomes apparent that her mother isn’t coming back, July clings to every bit of information she can gather about her mum’s mounts in races and their performance. Martina her older sister does the exact opposite, swearing off anything horse-related.
Saratoga Summers shows the relationship of July and Beck changing as the years pass. The reader is introduced to silly little pranks that Beck plays on July. Then, his sometimes endearing qualities and the growing attraction between the pair.
Although things seem to be changing for July with her mother’s absence, learning to drive and getting a car and many other things – two things stay constant. Her love of horses and also Beck. This short story does a great job of adding to the novel, Staying the Distance. It’s an easy and enjoyable read. Plus, it provides fans of July and Beck with a little bit more to their story.