Ivy Takes Care
February 12, 2013
Brokenhearted after her best friend leaves for the entire summer, Ivy rallies and finds herself something new and exciting to do: she hires herself out to look after people’s farm animals and pets while they’re away. So begins a summer of discovery and definition for tenderhearted but sensible Ivy, who must win over the stubborn pony Chestnut, take on the training of a puppy named Inca, and patiently court the trust of the magnificent but scarred racehorse, Andromeda. All this while tending to her own private hurts and hopes, and managing the hapless tagalong Billy Joe, who has a knack for trouble and accidents like nobody else. Celebrated writer Rosemary Wells delivers a compassionately observed and exquisitely distilled novel set in mid-century Nevada about a heroine with an exceptional gift, a heart of gold, and a budding dream for her future.
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Strengths: This is a lovely, gentle book about animals and about the challenges faced by the rigors of life at this time in Nevada. I knew that this state was a place that people wanting divorces would stay, but hadn't thought about the people working at these ranches. Period details abound-- a ring costs $5 and Ivy gets 50 cents a day for caring for animals, Italian leather shoes are an article of envy, interest in movies and movie stars is addressed. Of course, the big draw is Ivy's experience in caring for animals. This would be an excellent choice for readers who like Henry's Misty of Chincoteague.
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