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Titre : On The Edge
Éditeur : Macmillan, London UK
Date d'édition : 2002
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat du livre : New
Etat de la jaquette : New
Signé : Signed by Author(s)
Edition : 1st Edition
Hardback book in excellent condition, dust cover unmarked, signed by the author, Jenny Pitman on the inside page in biro. N° de réf. du libraire 000007
Synopsis : A gripping tale of one woman's determination to pursue her dream In her first novel, set in the world of horse-training and racing, Jenny Pitman deals up her years of experience in a fast paced and heart-stopping tale of one woman's experiences following her husband's death. Jan Hardy is left to look after her two young children, and to face her bitter mother-in-law alone. But she cannot continue to make a success of the crumbling Welsh farm and the life that goes with it. The only thing she knows about is handling horses. Jan is forced to move to Gloucestershire to be near her parents, increase her profile and raise her stakes as a horse racer, choosing also to look after problem horses and pursue her dream of gaining a training license. This, she hopes, will truly secure a future for her children. As she begins to make her tentative mark on the predominantly male training scene, Jan ecnounters numerous setbacks from her family and considerable financial difficulties. And to make things worse, certain characters seem determined to make her life as difficult as possible...
Critique: How often have we seen the hopeful strapline on a racing-set thriller evoking Dick Francis? That author's own publishers, Macmillan, have more of a right to use such tactics than most, and the Francis comparison with Jenny Pitman's On the Edge turns out to be considerably more than mere hyperbole. In fact, while some of The Master's later novels gave the impression of being written on autopilot, the setting and narrative here has the freshness and edge of early Francis. The fact that Jenny Pitman is celebrated in equine circles as the First Lady of racing, with triumphs in the world's most demanding races (including two Grand National wins) under her belt, gives her the necessary chutzpah to tackle a tale like this, with its autobiographical touches. Of course (we may be tempted to say), it's possible to be an expert on a subject while possessing no discernible writing skills, but that certainly doesn't seem to be the case here. Whether or not Pitman has been helped by some invisible Macmillan editors, her novel is an assured, swift-moving piece in which the racing universe is sharply evoked.
Jan Hardy is struggling to bring up two kids in Wales under the malignant eye of her mother-in-law, and is forced to sell her farm and move to Gloucestershire where she makes her mark in the tough, male world of handling and training horses (guess who Pitman has based her heroine on?). But family problems and an involvement with the charming Eddie Sullivan threaten her future, and soon she finds the stakes are very high indeed.
Don't look for le Carré-style subtlety here: this is a big, bold, page-turning piece that is drawn in vivid colours. If Pitman gives up the day job, there'll be many who'll be happy to keep her book sales buoyant on the strength of On the Edge. --Barry Forshaw
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