Made That Way by Susan Ketchen
Available from Amazon or local bookseller
Reviewed by Carol M. Upton – www.dreamsaloud.ca
First published in Horses All - www.horsesall.com
Usually it makes me feel better to wear my riding clothes. But today nothing helps, even when I buckle on my riding helmet and hop on my bike. Somehow I know I'm doomed. ~ Susan Ketchen
In this family fiction sequel to Born That Way, Susan Ketchen reunites readers with the intrepid young Sylvia, who is challenged by a genetic disorder, wild about horses, and determined to find solutions to the obstacles presented by her life in general. Sylvia wants to be a real horsewoman and she’s excited about getting her own horse, even if the horse is arriving at a less-than-perfect time. Brooklyn is, well, not quite a regular horse. He has big ears, makes strange sounds, and he’s already bitten the transport driver.
Ketchen captures, with humour and pathos, the developing personality and growing pains of a not quite fifteen-year-old girl who would just like to be normal. Sylvia also wants to be treated as an adult, but sometimes, no one seems to listen very closely, and she must puzzle things out on her own.
The strength of this book lies in Ketchen’s examination of some topics that parents and children may find difficult to discuss. What does it mean to be normal or disordered anyhow? Where does a young person turn when her parents don’t listen, when she is tormented at school, and is now faced, not with her dream horse, but one who appears to be complicating her life even further.
Ketchen’s writing is fast-paced, compelling and full of surprises. Made That Way can be read in one sitting, but Sylvia’s persistence and creativity in overcoming her life’s challenges will inspire the reader for a lifetime.
Susan Ketchen was born in Nanaimo, B.C. and had a successful Family counseling practice for many years. She now resides on a small Vancouver Island hobby farm with her husband, two horses, two cats and a flock of chickens. Grows That Way, the third book in this series will be published in fall 2011. Visit Susan at: www.susanketchen.ca