One Hundred and Four Horses by Mandy Retzlaff (ARC Review)

Release date: July 1 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Australia
Number of pages: 382
My rating: 2.5/5
A fascinating memoir about a horse-loving family, One Hundred and Four Horses seems to be a fascinating story of love, loss, and family. However, my interest quickly waned around halfway through.

This memoir follows the story of Mandy Retzlaff, her husband Pat Retzlaff, their three kids, and their horses (eventually 104 of them). The story is set in Zimbabwe during tough times. A person called Mugabe and a bunch of war vets are evicting white farmers from their farms, often turning into violence. When farmers start leaving Zimbabwe and abandoning their horses, the Retzlaffs start saving horses. They have to find a way to survive and save their horses in a country full of conflict.

The weakest point in this book was the lack of explanation. I honestly don’t have any knowledge of what happened in Zimbabwe, and I sure didn’t get any explanation here. It is established that Mugabe is brutal, but I’m not sure exactly why Mugabe and the war veterans wanted people off their land.

The story is definitely interesting. There are heaps of awesome horses in it, and along with that, some really interesting stories about some of the horses.

I was really enjoying this around the start, but then I got a little bored. Don’t get me wrong, the book was still interesting, but I just can’t explain it. Time seemed to slow down while I was reading it, and I just wasn’t that interesting. The story got way more interesting near the end, as everything starts to change more quickly.

Unfortunately I don’t have a clue what made my interest drop so fast. (I know, so unprofessional of me!)

Ultimately a story worth reading, I recommend this book to horse or animal lovers. If you don’t like horses or animals, don’t bother.
An ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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