Thursday, January 19, 2012

When Horses Had Wings / Diana Estill

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction

Approximate word count: 65-70,000 words

Kindle US:
YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: YES Paper: YES
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store


A former journalist and humor columnist, Diana Estill has written several humor books, some full length and some short essay collections. This is her first novel, inspired by her own experiences as a teenage mother. For more, visit Estill’s website.


At sixteen, Renee Goodchild is trapped. A single mistake sets Renee down the road to pregnancy and a forced marriage to an abusive man. This story takes place in rural Texas in the 1970s.

When Horses Had Wings is a Red Adept Select book. <link>


One of my recent reads was Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott, a Christmas gift about writing from an author friend. One of Lamott’s recurring themes is that an author has to tell “the truth.” This may seem strange when fiction, by definition, is a pack of lies; something the author has made up. What Lamott means is that everything about a character’s actions and words has to ring true with the reader. When Horses Had Wings rings true. While Renee makes choices and takes actions that are sometimes obviously the wrong thing to do, they are always true to the character at that point in her life.

Although When Horses Had Wings addresses some serious topics (teen pregnancy and spousal abuse among them), it does so in a way that manages not to turn into a downer, while staying true to the story. I found Estill’s writing style evocative and engaging, often reading a sentence or phrase and thinking she’d found the perfect way of expressing her thoughts. An excellent read.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: ***** Five stars


Anonymous said...

Great book. I'm about halfway through and am having trouble putting down to do other things. ATG, Diana.

Christine DeMaio-Rice said...

Wow. This was already on my TBR but I think it just moved up a couple of notches. Thanks Big Al.

Nell Gavin said...

I agree - it's an excellent book!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking time to review my book. I'm thrilled to know you enjoyed it.