I like that description -- a demented New York cousin of I Capture The Castle. What first struck me about the novel is what has remained with me. I suspect I'm going to state this badly, but it was the lack of sentimentality. Our intrepid narrator (is she ever named? I cannot recall if she was) never succumbs to sentimentality, it's all so matter-of-fact.
But even with her dry, sometimes dispassionate, narration, so much information is imparted. You know how they say that babies just lie there, taking it all in? That's the best way I can describe the detailed recitation of facts and impression.
Grooms chop carrots into feed tubs, and further on down the shed row black hot walkers can be heard singing about how they will walk and talk with Jesus one of these days. Our father films a race and asks Louisa and me to go near the rail and take sound of the horses' hooves galloping by. In front of us a horse breaks down. While others continue galloping, this horse stumbles forward on its knees. There is blood coming out of its nose and it is breathing hard. We know they will come and take it to the blue room and give it an injection and put the horse down. It's called the blue room because it's really just four walls with no ceiling. What the horse sees before it dies is the blue of the sky...
It's funny that CAAF notes the dog as a key character, because it is the stallion -- not the stallion from the scene above, but a horse ridden by a park policeman -- that I remember so clearly. This horse, our heroine is convinced, wants to help her. Would help her if he could. This horse could make it all better. I knew that longing and belief as every former horse-mad little girl knows it.
There are characters great and small in this book, and some seemed to fly by while others lingered in my mind. Were there any that stayed with you after the fact?