Gillian Mears’ Foal’s Bread


Reasons I love Foal’s Bread: the descriptions. I felt like I was there, I could picture the country of my childhood, see the showring, even though we never had high jump.

Reasons that I’ve taken so long to write this damn review: throughout the novel, I had the feeling that I was in a place that I wasn’t supposed to be. It wasn’t a feeling of unwelcome, though I had a feeling there would be that if I was actually there*. Just a feeling of getting in the way, being a Peeping Tom. I felt like the personal tragedies of the Nancarrows had no place being broadcast for the world to see, as if they were a real family with real troubles. Or maybe that’s just my protectiveness talking.

I used to live in country that I imagine is much like where the Nancarrows lived. But I was there for such a short amount of time, and I loved it so fiercely – it was the first place I loved – that I feel a protectiveness over it. Sometimes I even want to protect it from myself, keep the memories pristine. I’d love to rent a house there one day and write. Wow. That’s a new thought. But not an unwelcome one.

*Maybe that was it. I could picture it all so vividly, it was like I was there, and however much I enjoyed reading about it I knew a) that I didn’t belong there and b) that I wouldn’t be welcomed there. The Nancarrows are such private people.


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