Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail (Anglais) Broché – 8 avril 2014
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It is the story of Carrie who is uprooted from New Jersey and moved across the country to Nevada after the divorce of her parents. As Carrie struggles with her new reality and new life during daytime; at night her dreams bring her mystery. Wild horses are coming to her in her dreams, leaving messages and clues for Carrie to decrypt. She shares this connection to the Calico horses with her new friend Milla and best friend Shannon. Soon the trio embarks on the mysterious trail of the calico swatches of fabric appearing everywhere and their link to the beautiful horses of the Calico Mountains that are rounded-up and taken away from their peaceful habitat in an a brutal effort to control their population.
Through meditation and their strong spirituality, the girls sew the clues of calico fabric together into a quilt of life that leads them to overcome adversity and make a difference to the plight of the Calico horses.
Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail, delivers a strong social and environmental message to pre-teens. It brings awareness to the plight of American wild horses; teaching the reader how in the great web of life "we are one"; connected to each other; our slightest actions impacting each other. No matter how young we are, we can make a difference. In the world of books, "Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail" makes a difference.
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Librarian Seattle Metaphysical Library
Calico Horses and the Patchwork Trail by Lorraine Turner is a coming of age tale about the interaction between a group of ten year old girls, their families and the natural kinship of human and animal. A very balanced look at the struggle of the wild mustangs of the Calico Mountains is presented. Through learning about the horses the girls learn about themselves and their shared journey. There is a definite spiritual thread that runs throughout the work. The girl’s dreams, personal meditations, visions, art, and even the connection to the spirit of a beloved Grandmother and other ancestors are used by the girls to find their path and discover their connectedness. The girls learn to overcome divorce, death, bullying, and disappointment, while seeking out purpose and community. The girls come to understand that everyone and everything is inextricably linked, that We Are One.
Lorraine Turner is an artist living in the Florida Keys. Her own dreams and meditations are depicted in the book, in fact, a vision of the Calico Mountains and the plight of the wild horses that live there was the inspiration for the writing of the book. The method of meditation Turner practices herself, Sae-sii Meditation, is outlined in the book and is used by the characters as a way to relax, solve problems and connect to Spirit. Turner provides a way for young readers to experience the message that she received in her meditations, to come to the understanding that we must work in balance with nature of which we are a part.
It is encouraging to read a book that is directed towards preteen girls about the importance of the balance, and an understanding of the unity, of nature. This book allows young readers to see the internal struggles of girls their own age and gives them some ways to think about and deal with their struggles. I appreciate that the novel does not try to explain away all the mysteries that surround us, but just accepts that they are there. The girls are involved in drawing and painting, horses and horsemanship, dog training, quilting, and camping which will especially appeal to the 8-13 year-old female reader.
The story begins in New Jersey with ten year-old Carrie discovering that her parents are getting divorced and that she and her mother, Brenda, are moving to Saddleback,Nevada. Until her mother finds a job they are planning to stay at a Bed & Breakfast owned by her mother’s friend, Sam. Carrie is having a difficult time with her parents’ divorce and an even harder time leaving her best friend Shannon. When they arrive and start to adjust to their new lives Carrie and her mother learn about the controversy surrounding the mustang roundups in the Calico Mountains and the mystery of the quilt squares appearing randomly all over the B&B and around the town. Soon Carrie meets Milla, a local girl of the same age who rescues a newborn foal outside her home, and the two are soon inseparable. Their parents decide to enroll them both in a summer camp that focuses on horses and art. Carrie and Milla share information with Shannon back in New Jersey about the quilts and horses that become a prominent part of Carrie’s dreams and meditations. The three girls attempt to discover how the Calico Mountains, the plight of the mustangs, and the mysterious quilt squares are connected. By the end of the summer the girls realize that even as young as they are they can make a difference in the world. Shannon is quilting blankets for preemies in New Jersey and finds more volunteers for her project in Nevada and Carrie and Milla are working to help get the orphaned foals of the Calico Mountains adopted. Everything comes together like a patchwork quilt.
There are parts of the novel that I think might be unclear or confusing to a preteen reader. The book has a lot of young female characters that interact with one another and at times I found it difficult to tell them apart. I found that the connection with Shannon and her family in New Jersey to be a distraction to the main focus of the story. I thought the novel could have been a bit tighter with some editing of characters that didn’t really appear to add to the story, for example, Carrie’s pregnant Aunt in New Jersey or Shannon’s mother’s friend.
In general, Turner accomplished what she set out to do which was to bring the spiritual message of We Are One to a young audience through the conflict around the American wild horses of the Calico Mountains. While depicting many of the problems that young people often face she demonstrates that not only can they be overcome, but that young people can use their talents to direct social and environmental action.
I loved this book and gave it 5 stars because to me it ticked all the boxes of a terrific read. I didn’t want to put it down and it was one of those books that had me glued to it, the rest of the world disappeared until I got to the end of it.
I have to admire the skill that Lorraine used when telling this story. There were quite a few characters involved, though they all spun off the main character Carrie. However, at no time did I lose sight of where they all fitted in, and that alone makes me believe that Turner could set her pen to a myriad of different endeavours and there’s a good chance I’d buy anyone of those after reading this tale.
In addition she has managed to tackle the changing attitudes of society to what we are eating and why. Also the idea of Ecotourism and how it sounds like a wonderful idea, but has many shades of grey to navigate through. There is an obvious push towards the spiritual and the different ways we might incorporate varying shades of mysticism into our daily lives to simplify things and find more clarity.
It will obviously be marketed towards the children to young adult market, however, I think targeting this niche alone would be a mistake. There is so much in this story that is helpful to parents single, blended or in matrimonial harmonious situations and also the Spiritual and the Healing communities.
What did I personally get out of it? Three days of magic, traversing the Calico Mountains of Nevada and learning about a place called Jersey, and the chance to fall in love with humans and horses all over again. I found myself smiling throughout the whole read, and as a Mother, tripping over similar sitatutions the parents in the story came across… it really is a healing story for adults..
In short, your mad if you don’t give this book a go. It’s fantastic.
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