‘Isabel stands in the place of all young people as she comes face to face with wounds from her past, deep rejection issues and fears for her future. It is a great book for teenagers and has a “rooted in reality” message of hope that is so desperately needed today.’
Tracy Williamson, Author and Speaker, MBM Trust
Research from the Anti-Bullying Alliance reveals that one in four children report being bullied ‘a lot or always’. Such trauma can cause long-term damage to a child’s confidence and well-being. But one source of therapy that has been found to make a difference is working with horses.
In Patrick Coghlan’s new YA novel, Crazy About Horses, we meet eighteen-year-old Isabel, a young woman who has experienced significant bullying in her past but found comfort and healing working at a local equestrian centre and stud farm. As we see Isabella interact with the horses, we learn about the animals and how they can be powerful therapeutic aids, giving her growing confidence to face up to bullies in the past and present.
An experienced riding instructor and one-time riding school owner, Patrick Coghlan’s love of horses is infectious, and his rich knowledge of them lends authenticity and depth to the story. Working as a minister and counsellor, with more than forty books to his name, he is also well placed to address the challenges and questions that the themes of Crazy About Horses – bullying, bereavement and family separation – present. As he says, ‘My hope is that Crazy About Horses will encourage readers to discover for themselves the joy of horses, but also the strength, healing and hope of being in a relationship with God.’
Isabel has always been crazy about horses, and now, with her friend and boss Karen, she is fulfilling her dream of working with them. But when an unexpected death threatens their North Norfolk stud centre, it seems her dream may become a nightmare. Intimidated by a ruthless developer and his sinister agents, Isabel must find the courage to confront bullies in the present and overcome fears of them from her past. Karen’s estranged and eccentric aunt could offer hope, but how can Isabel help heal their family rift when her own parents no longer speak to her? As the plot progresses, Isabel grows in confidence and, determined not to give up, finds increasing strength in her nascent faith.
Young people face many challenges today, not least bullying of them or those they know. Crazy About Horses is a book to educate about the impact of such behaviour, and a delight for anyone interested in all things equine!
Crazy About Horses by Patrick Coghlan (ISBN: 9781912726561) is published by Instant Apostle and is available on 20th May 2022 from bookshops and online retailers. YA Fiction, paperback, 208pp, £8.99.