I was able to gain an electronic copy of this novel for review and in reading it, was able to learn a little bit about a world completely different to mine. Teenager Heather has been identified as having a mild case of autism and on account of this, finds that every aspect of her personality that is considered unattractive, can be blamed on her ‘disorder’.
The Horse is Never Wrong is written from Heather’s point of view and amusingly jumps around, giving the reader a great insight into her mind and thought patterns. Although it seems that Heather does suffer from autism, a lot of traits that are considered characteristic of her disorder, can also amusingly be found in many teenagers her age.
Socially Heather struggles to connect with others her age. Educationally she struggles with subjects that appear irrelevant or don’t follow a predictable pattern.
It isn’t until Heather’s mother suggests the idea of horse riding, that Heather finds she is onto something that can help her be who she truly is. Although a psychologist and teacher aide warns Heather to not turn horse riding into her latest over the top obsession – like some movies and literature – Heather finds that although she is nervous on a horse, it is easy to establish acquaintances and not have to think of socially acceptable topics to discuss, when she can just as easily talk horse facts.
The Horse is Never Wrong cleverly – and amusingly – depicts the life of a young teen trying to find herself, and her help in doing so with a fourteen year old boy who is obviously different to other males his age – and not ashamed of it. There is a bit of language in the novel and the ending comes quite quickly, but it is a factual, interesting and amusing read, as well as being an eye opener from the autistic side of things.
“A horse has so docile a nature that he would always rather do right then wrong, if only he could be taught to distinguish one from the other.” – Author unknown