Wednesday 3 June 2020

Book ~ "Chasing Painted Horses" (2019) Drew Hayden Taylor

From Goodreads ~ "Chasing Painted Horses" is the story of four unlikely friends who live in Otter Lake, a reserve north of Toronto. 

Ralph and his sister, Shelley, live with their parents. On the cusp of becoming teenagers, they and their friend, William, befriend an odd little girl, from a dysfunctional family. Danielle, a timid 10 year old girl, draws an amazing, arresting image of a horse that draws her loose group of friends into her fantasy world. 

But those friends are not ready for what that horse may mean or represent. It represents everything that’s wrong in the girl’s life and everything she wished it could be. And the trio who meet her and witness the creation of the horse, are left trying to figure out what the horse means to the girl, and later to them. And how to help the shy little girl.

Ralph is a police officer in Toronto.  One day around the Bathurst Street/Queen Street W area, he sees a painting of a horse on a wall.  He recognizes it and realizes it was painted by his childhood friend, Danielle, who had moved away suddenly when he was ten.  Harry, a homeless man who lives on the grate across the street, calls to Ralph and seems to have the answers as to who painted the horse.

Ralph, his sister, Shelley, and their friend, William, grew up on a reserve in Otto Lake, north of Toronto.  Liz, Ralph and Shelley's mother, is a bit of a free spirit and thinks it would be a great idea to have a chalkboard in their kitchen and invite the local children to draw and express themselves on the chalkboard.  Danielle, a shy and quiet girl, surprises everyone by drawing a beautiful horse that seems to draw everyone in.  As Ralph, Shelley and William get to know Danielle, they discover that her home life is very different than their happy and warm one and they try to help her.

This is the first book that I've read by this author and I thought it was okay.  It is written in third person perspective, focusing on wherever the action is.  As a head's up, there are some F-bombs.  I liked that it was set in Toronto ... the Bathurst Street/Queen Street W area is not far from where I live and I could picture Ralph and Harry chatting in the Tim Hortons that is on that corner.

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