Title: The Quicksand Pony
Author: Alison Lester
Genre: Childrens, Australian
Rating: 4 Star
‘Biddy, I’m sorry, we’re going to have to leave her.’
‘What?’ Biddy struggled out of the quicksand. ‘You can’t leave her! The tide’s coming in. She’ll drown!’
But the pony is trapped and Biddy is forced to go on without her. The next day the only signs of Bella area hoofprints in the sand…with small footprints and the paw marks of a dog. Who has rescued Bella? Who could be so small and be alone on this remote beach?
Biddy’s search takes her into wild secret country where she discovers the truth about a mysterious disappearance that happened many years ago.
Review – MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
I read this book years ago when I was in primary school. I took it with me and my mother moved twice while I was still in school, brought it with me when I moved across the country to Melbourne, and then moved it with me once more when I moved across country again to Brisbane. I brought it with me all these times because I remembered really loving it the very first time I read it and I could not bring myself to let go of it. Now that I have reread it I can completely see why I felt the need to bring it with me each time I moved despite the fact it was a children’s story.
This is an excellent example of a story that both child and parent can enjoy at the same time. For the children it is a story about the rescue of a young girls pony and finding a small boy who has survived many years in the Australian bush and bring him back into the world. All happy endings and interesting adventures. For the adult its about all those things too, but also about, how the child can turn into the parent, the loss of trust that can be born through change, and the need to change and risk everything you have known your whole life to not feel lonely anymore.
I loved each and every character within this book. Our main two are Biddy and Joe and I think they were the perfect two to tell the story. Poor Joe has lived in the bush for years because his mother stole away with him when he was a baby due to a tragic accident with his father and made the rest of their family think they were both dead, keeping their distance from the rest of the world.
**SPOILERS** and with the years that pass his mother slowly becomes more and more filled with fear and more and more sick, forcing Joe to take over the role of the parent, until finally the sickness I suspect was cancer takes its final hold of his mother and she dies, leaving him all alone in the world. He lives alone for at least another year, with only a dingo puppy as his friend. But he longs for someone who will talk back to him. He then risks his whole world and small happiness he already has by exposing himself to the strangers he hatched watched drive the cattle, leaving his best friend behind. **END SPOILER**
Throughout the book Biddy is driven to correct the wrongs she feels she keeps on committing one after another, making things worst and worst, until they lead her to Joe, someone everyone but her and her best friend, Joe’s cousin, thought was dead all these years. They story being told through their perspective makes the story and sweet enough to the child’s mind, and it gives the adult an innocent view into much more complex things that if told through the eyes of another adult could have been much darker.
This is simply just a beautiful book, so I am going to end the review here. Everything that needs to be said about it have already been spoken and I don’t want to ruin this wonderful little bit of magic by going on and on about it in detail. Recommend this book to people who have children, enjoy these kind of simple stories, or have some connect to Australia in someway. If you don’t really like children’s stories I would not recommend it though. Do I still feel like I need to cart this book around since I have read it again? I don’t know. When I was finished I felt so satisfied with it that I could finally let the book move on, but now that I have been thinking about it for awhile, I don’t know if I can. I might want to read this to my children one day since I love it so.
Till Next Time…