West, Joyce

Joyce West (1908–85) was born in Auckland, New Zealand and educated in Maori schools (where her parents were teachers) and by correspondence. The family lived a remote, rural existence, rode everywhere, and kept a large menagerie of animals. When she began to write, she said, 'it was with the wish that I might save a little of the charm and flavour of those times and places for the children of today.'

Her books are cracking reads. It’s fairer to say they’re studies of families and their dealings, rather than horse stories. Horses do play a major part in some of her books, but it’s the humans and their emotions that you remember best after you’ve read the books.

Joyce West also wrote for adults. She collaborated with Mary Scott on a series of murder mysteries featuring Inspector Wright. There is some horse content in two of the books, which I’ve listed here.
Finding the books
Reasonably easy to find, but considerably easier if you’re in Australia or New Zealand.

Links and sources
Tom Fitzgibbon on Joyce West, 20th Century Children’s Authors, 1978
Many thanks to Bettina Vine for all her help with the Inspector Wright books.

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