I was pleasantly surprised when I read this novel, Raja, by Anne Hambleton. At first, I thought it was a true story of an unknown racehorse, but as soon as I began reading it, I realized it was a novel a-la-Black Beauty in a contemporary U.S. east coast setting.
In the beginning, Raja, a Thoroughbred colt born in Ocala, Florida, describes his childhood and how his dam was struck and killed by lightning. This caused him to be panic-stricken whenever he experienced a thunderstorm no matter who was riding him. A series of events causes him to be moved from the track to several different stables - some nice and some not so much.
Like Black Beauty, this novel explains the special bonds between horses and riders, the horrors of some trainers and the unfortunate truth behind horse auctions.
It was a delight to read how Raja met up with childhood friends later in life, both human and equine.
A great read for all horse lovers by this former steeplechase jockey!