Audible My Friend FlickaAuthor Mary O'Hara – Sisnlaw.co.uk

If you ve never been West around Colorado Wyoming, O Hara recreates it and captures it in her novels I didn t realize just how well until I moved here and started recognizing the scenery.I ve reread her books many times now and will likely reread them many , hence the 5 stars I ve had to get rid of all my books a couple times in the past and have always felt like my shelves are incomplete till I ve reacquired the Flicka set O Hara is a depression era writer and has a bit of Steinbeck fl If you ve never been West around Colorado Wyoming, O Hara recreates it and captures it in her novels I didn t realize just how well until I moved here and started recognizing the scenery.I ve reread her books many times now and will likely reread them many , hence the 5 stars I ve had to get rid of all my books a couple times in the past and have always felt like my shelves are incomplete till I ve reacquired the Flicka set O Hara is a depression era writer and has a bit of Steinbeck flavor to her writing Not quite as harsh, but like fabric that wears over knees and elbows, it comes closer in some areas than others.There sto the books than a boy and his horse story, and if you ve only seen the movies I urge you to read the books instead Nell s story is compelling reading, particularly her life philosophies she tries to impart on her sons Rob s struggles to relate to his youngest son are a snapshot of how we approach the world on the terms we know and understand, and how difficult it is for us to step outside our understanding I would suggest, after reading the books, to read up a bit on O Hara herself Quite a few parallels between her real life and the books, which may ultimately lendinsight into her and the characters she wrote A vivid story about ten year old Ken McLaughlin and his connection with Flicka, a filly born on his parents ranch in Wyoming Ken, a sensitive boy given to daydreaming, confounds his father, Rob McLaughlin, whose personality is forthright, assertive and demanding When Ken is offered a choice of a young horse to raise and train as his own, he chooses Flicka, an animal his father believes will be troublesome and untameable But Ken has already imagined his life with Flicka and refuses to make a A vivid story about ten year old Ken McLaughlin and his connection with Flicka, a filly born on his parents ranch in Wyoming Ken, a sensitive boy given to daydreaming, confounds his father, Rob McLaughlin, whose personality is forthright, assertive and demanding When Ken is offered a choice of a young horse to raise and train as his own, he chooses Flicka, an animal his father believes will be troublesome and untameable But Ken has already imagined his life with Flicka and refuses to make a different choice.Ken s mother Nell has a much greater understanding of her younger son s temperament She holds her own among the male dominated life on Goose Bar Ranch and subtly runs interference with her husband on Ken s behalf Howard, Ken s older brother alternates between wanting to keep the upper hand over his younger sibling and softening on occasion to help Ken out The first half of the story builds up to the capture of Flicka and the second half follows the forming of the deep bond between horse and boy and the price they each pay for their connection I first read this story as a ten or 11 year old I was not a horse obsessed kid but reading My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming tapped into a longing for the unspoken bond that can happen with an animal It also painted a picture of a landscape of hills, grasslands, mountains, wide open skies and ranch life that resonated with me and was so different from my own Re reading this book as an adult did not disappoint I was interested to see how well the the shifting points of view from Ken to Nell to Rob and occasionally Gus, the ranch manager, worked to add to the emotional tension It is not typical of the way current children s books are written using the adult POV to create empathy with the child protagonist Here we feel empathy for each POV character The conflict between Ken and his father and between the humans and nature drive the story effectively The descriptions are specific and vivid both of setting and people The story has an intensity to it as it portrays life on a Wyoming ranch in a particular time and place.This was as satisfying a read as an adult as I remember as a child Ken is a kid who can t do anything right He daydreams during the school year and isn t promoted He is the object of his older brother s scorn He makes a mess of everything he is asked to do on his father s ranch his father is fed up with him Just when you think Ken is doomed to a life of failure, his mother has an imaginative idea give Ken what he wants most, a horse of his own, a horse to break and teach and love And because he loves his wife and because he can t think of anything else, Ken is a kid who can t do anything right He daydreams during the school year and isn t promoted He is the object of his older brother s scorn He makes a mess of everything he is asked to do on his father s ranch his father is fed up with him Just when you think Ken is doomed to a life of failure, his mother has an imaginative idea give Ken what he wants most, a horse of his own, a horse to break and teach and love And because he loves his wife and because he can t think of anything else, Ken s father agrees and allows Ken to choose a colt to raise.Ken chooses Flicka, a colt with a wild and unmanageable mother Ken s father tries to change his son s mind, but Ken stubbornly clings to his desire for Flicka And once again, it feels like Ken is heading for doom, that he has once again made the wrong choice But, though Flicka and Ken have many setbacks, Ken s decision to choose Flicka is a good one, and both Ken and Flicka become stronger for their trials and troubles This is a great story of courage and redemption and love and struggle Okay, I ll say it right here at the beginning of this review for me Best Horse Book Ever.In my quest as a young girl to read every single horse book I could find, I somehow bypassed this one Maybe it was because I would appreciate it evenlater in life Although parts of it now seem dated it was first published in 1941 it reads best as historical fiction, depicting life on a remote Wyoming ranch in the early part of the 20th century Some things, like certain expressions and horse tra Okay, I ll say it right here at the beginning of this review for me Best Horse Book Ever.In my quest as a young girl to read every single horse book I could find, I somehow bypassed this one Maybe it was because I would appreciate it evenlater in life Although parts of it now seem dated it was first published in 1941 it reads best as historical fiction, depicting life on a remote Wyoming ranch in the early part of the 20th century Some things, like certain expressions and horse training methods, might seem harsh to modern readers, but were real at the time.The theme of family, however, with a demanding father trying to balance the duties of running a ranch with understanding his sensitive son, buffered by a loving mother, ring just as true today as they must have when this book was first published.Oh, but for the love of a horse A filly named Flicka I think anyone who has ever truly loved an animal will relate to the passion that young Ken feels for his horse I sobbed throughout this book, as Mary O Hara s words went right to my heart all these decades later Amazing, isn t it The power of the written word.Horse lovers, animal lovers, and readers of historical fiction, don t miss this classic read It seems Ken can t do anything right He loses saddle blankets and breaks reinsbut then comes the worst news yet a report card so bad that he has to repeat a grade How can you tame the dreamy mind of a boy who stares out of the window instead of taking an exam Enter Flicka, the chestnut filly with a wild spirit Over the course of one magical summer, both will learn the meaning of responsibility, courage, and, ultimately, friendship I think this book is my all time favorite I say this because I have read it every 2 years or so since I was young I can t really say that about any other book, although I am one of those people that will keep and reread, several times, books that I like My Friend Flicka is set on a ranch south west of Tie Siding, Wyoming Since we live in this area the setting is familiar, even though things have changed a lot since 1941 Basically, it is your typical coming of age story, but it can interes I think this book is my all time favorite I say this because I have read it every 2 years or so since I was young I can t really say that about any other book, although I am one of those people that will keep and reread, several times, books that I like My Friend Flicka is set on a ranch south west of Tie Siding, Wyoming Since we live in this area the setting is familiar, even though things have changed a lot since 1941 Basically, it is your typical coming of age story, but it can interest readers of all ages because it s not just about young Ken McLaughlin but his entire family, in particular, his mother, Nell I like stories where most of the action takes place out of doors, and that go seriously into the relationships between humans and animals with care Flicka is a really strong element in this story, with very well developed character and behavior Still, there is so much practicality involved in the way the McLaughlin family and friends approach ranching and living in 1940 s Wyoming that it doesn t ever really fall into the sentimental or maudlin I only wish Mary O Hara had writtenbooks along this line, instead of going to Hollywood to write screenplays, or whatever it was she did I always felt that Nell was almost too close to her, and that Nell s breakdown was actually Mary O Hara s.less A tough minded, wise, and beautiful book crossposted fromLike so many others, I read this book as a child, but I ve reread it a couple of times as an adult am doing so now As my sister and other reviewers have said, this isn t just a horse story for children It s a very adult, very sophisticated study of a young couple and their marriage It s also a profound character study of their younger son, and the summer that his love for a filly forces him to take large steps toward matur A tough minded, wise, and beautiful book crossposted fromLike so many others, I read this book as a child, but I ve reread it a couple of times as an adult am doing so now As my sister and other reviewers have said, this isn t just a horse story for children It s a very adult, very sophisticated study of a young couple and their marriage It s also a profound character study of their younger son, and the summer that his love for a filly forces him to take large steps toward maturity As a child, I identified strongly with 10 year old Ken As an adult, I still do but I also empathize with his parents, who have to try to teach this brilliant, sensitive daydreamer how to accept responsibility and cope in the real world, All the characters in this book human and animal are three dimensional and alive Anyone who loves animal stories must read this book you won t regret it The natural world is shown in all its beauty and harshness, and O Hara s prose is strong and clear But it s the characters you ll remember forever I first read this book when I was eight or nine, and have wished for Wyoming ever since It s a lovely story about a shy, dreamy kid who hates school and desperately wants his father s respect, but who can t help always doing something clumsy or forgetting something important For the summer, he wants nothingthan to have his own yearling colt to train His father finally, reluctantly agrees and Ken chooses the wildest, possibly most untrainable one of the bunch This novel has such a sens I first read this book when I was eight or nine, and have wished for Wyoming ever since It s a lovely story about a shy, dreamy kid who hates school and desperately wants his father s respect, but who can t help always doing something clumsy or forgetting something important For the summer, he wants nothingthan to have his own yearling colt to train His father finally, reluctantly agrees and Ken chooses the wildest, possibly most untrainable one of the bunch This novel has such a sense of place and time, and to read it you must absolutely go outside Climb a tree, or sprawl in the grass somewhere, hopefully someplace lonely with no cars or lawnmowers so that when you close your eyes, you can see mountains Originally begun as a short story, O Hara fleshed it out into something really wonderful One of my all time favorites Wow What a boring book Like any horse obsessed person, I try to see every horse related movie and read nearly every horse related book So, perhaps in this case, the mistake I made was that I watched the movie first and then read the book In the movie 16 yo girl is misunderstood by her father She fails final exam Father is angry at her and doesn t want her to do anything fun except rewrite her essay so that she ll pass Girl finds wild mustang Girl catches mustang Father is angry doesn Wow What a boring book Like any horse obsessed person, I try to see every horse related movie and read nearly every horse related book So, perhaps in this case, the mistake I made was that I watched the movie first and then read the book In the movie 16 yo girl is misunderstood by her father She fails final exam Father is angry at her and doesn t want her to do anything fun except rewrite her essay so that she ll pass Girl finds wild mustang Girl catches mustang Father is angry doesn t want her to mess with it because it s dangerous and he considers it vermin Girl, of course, trains mustang anyway Girl gets injured Father becomes angrier Girl continues training at night Father sells mustang to rodeo Girl is devastated insert heroic rodeo rescue here The most I was expecting was a gender change and some minor tweaking on a few scenes, and maybe a little time change But instead what I got was a whack in the face.The movie is AHMAZING And while most people say the book is always better than the movie, here s where I have to disagree The movie fast paced, exciting, keeps you on the edge of your seat, even brings tears The book So boring that by the end of a few pages I was asleep I had to force myself to read this The only reason I did keep on reading this was because a fellow horse loving friend of mine promised that by the end I d be amazed.Of course, the word amazement isn t even closely related to this book You know how the adults in The Peanuts talk Wah wah, wah wah, wah wah Right Well, that s what this book was to me I read it, yes, but it was just so lifeless that it barely came through to me I had read this book once before when I was quite a bit younger and didn t like it I decided, however, that I d put it back and try again when I was older This time, reading it through, I actually did like it I was rather surprised though, because I had heard it suggested as a children s book and I find it a bitmature I d place itin the young adults category, due to some language and subject matter.This book is well known for being a sweet story about a boy and his horse, Flicka I had read this book once before when I was quite a bit younger and didn t like it I decided, however, that I d put it back and try again when I was older This time, reading it through, I actually did like it I was rather surprised though, because I had heard it suggested as a children s book and I find it a bitmature I d place itin the young adults category, due to some language and subject matter.This book is well known for being a sweet story about a boy and his horse, Flicka I, however, did not find that the most interesting relationship in the book Instead,I found myself most interested in the chapters about the boy s father and mother It is so hard to write a believable marriage and I think Mary O Hara did that in this book My Friend Flicka


About the Author: Mary O'Hara

Mary O Hara Alsop, an American author, screenwriter, and composer, was born July 10, 1885, in Cape May, N.J., to Reese Fell Alsop and Mary Lee Spring She grew up in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., where her father was an Episcopal clergyman.In 1905, Ms O hara married Kent Kane Parrot, whom she later divorced Her second marriage to Helge Sture Vasa from Sweden in 1922 also ended in divorce in 1947 Ms O Hara had two children from her first marriage, Mary O Hara who died of skin cancer during her teens, and Kent Kane, Jr.Ms O Hara moved to California after her first marriage where she became a screenwriter during the silent film era through the advent of talking movies.In 1930, during her second marriage, Ms O Hara moved to a ranch in Wyoming where she wrote her three novels, the classic My Friend Flicka, and the sequels Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming, about the McLaughlin family and the younger son and his horse, Flicka.In addition to writing, Ms O Hara was a successful composer and published numerous songs for the piano She also wrote a musical play called The Catch Colt which she later turned into a novel, first published in 1979 in Great Britain The rights to performing this as a play or a musical can still be obtained through Dramatists Play Services, New York.While she claimed her first love was musical composition, she continued writing fiction and nonfiction.A year after her divorce from her second husband in 1947, Ms O Hara returned to the east coast where she lived in Connecticut until 1968 She died Oct 14, 1980, in Chevy Chase, Md Her literary works are maintained by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C sources Current Biography, 1944 Contemporary Authors, 1981


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