The Lady

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Set in a quaint and comfortable Ireland, this traditional horse story throbs with affection for the noble beasts. During a quiet year in the early 1970’s, the Carradynes follow the seasonal routines imposed by their profession. Foaling, races, training, and all the chores associated with keeping ponies and horses fit and fast take up all the waking hours. In the same year, the Carradynes face scandal, domestic tyrannies, and even death with a feisty confidence born of years of self-reliance.

The patriarchal Michael coolly directs business and family affairs with a minimum of words, but when Isabel’s notions of decorum threaten his daughter’s dedication to the horses, he retreats. When Selina Healey, a neighbor woman of the horse-lovers’ tribe, encourages Catriona in her equine pursuits, serious conflicts on several levels erupt and the sylvan peace is marred by vandalism and violence.

McCaffrey gently and believably smooths out the harsh confrontations, letting her characters and animals return to their rural pastimes. Written to showcase the animals she so dearly loves, THE LADY will make readers recall such classics as BLACK BEAUTY and NATIONAL VELVET. Though far from the fantasy fiction that is her forte, this newest novel shares the strong points of McCaffrey’s finest work.