Gill Caridia and her large family move to the country after her father, a celebrated though little-read author, writes a detective story which sells phenomenally well. Life in the country, Gill thinks, will at last bring her dream of a pony to life. And it does. Across the lake at the end of the garden is a field of horses, and in that field is Perdita, the grey pony, bred to be shown. Gill’s dream is to ride at Wembley, and in Perdita she sees the way to make that dream come true. The book is infinitely more complicated than that: it is about what it means when your dream does come true, and what it means to leave it; the nature of loss, and the nature of letting go.
These were themes Leitch revisited in the Ginny series, but they are perhaps realised most beautifully in this book.
The American title, The Fields of Praise, is taken from the poem Fernhill, by Dylan Thomas.
Collins, London, 1975, cover illustration Jeroo Roy
Armada, London, pb, 1980
As Fields of Praise, Lippincott, New York, 1975
EBook: Jane Badger Books, 2019