Saturday, December 3, 2011

High Hurdles (1955) (mini review)

Dria Meredith is back home in Hilton, Indianna when her glamorous, wealthy grandmother blows into town and announces she'll be paying for Dria to train with her now 4-year-old horse, Star Dream to compete in the National Horse Show in New York City. In November.

"The National Horse Show!" Mama cried. "New York with Star Dream! Winning prizes! Acclaim!"

Dria reacts as if her grandmother had shot her pony with a bazooka.

"Oh, Mama." Dria realized what this foolish, expensive venture would cost. It wasn't worth it, not even if she wanted to go to New York, which she didn't.

More importantly, it means poor Dria will have to give up her dreams of editing the school newspaper with her boyfriend. Yes, you read that right. Dria and her whipped/obsessive boyfriend Rob -

He had spent the morning pursuing Dria; and since he expected to continue the exercise for months and years to come, one day was much like another.

- were to have spent a cozy senior year snuggled up in the newspaper office at the local high school. And now she has to spend long, cold hours at the barn training for the National Horse Show!!!!!

Needless to say, Dria makes it to the Garden, where of course Star Dream is a success. Confusing matters somewhat is Dria's cousin Camilla Lou, who crashes the week-long event for the society side. Bored with the horses, she has an eye for the men of the international teams and talks her way into the official stadium boxes of the Canadian team.

"Now, how did she ever find her way in there?" Mama had to ask... "Those boxes are reserved!"
"Well, she isn't." Dria made the statement because she had been at the horse show for the better part of a week and had never thought of seating herself there.

Considering that Dria's endless self-effacement and heroic self-sacrifice are always being rewarded with horses, free trips to huge horse shows, male adoration, parental fawning, etc., etc., you'd think she could spot her cousin one measly flirtation.

More troubling for Dria, however, is that Star Dream's success in class after class has attracted attention and sale offers. And although her great-grandmother, Dream's legal owner, is perfectly in sync with Dria and has no particular wish to sell her horse, Dria's relentless selflessness makes her aware that a sale would make financial sense for the elderly woman.

This is the third in the series, after Star Dream and Summer For Seven, which I completely skipped. I will do my best to get to it, but since I really just skimmed this one, I have my doubts as to whether the review will be any more reverent. The heroine and Lambert just set my teeth on edge.

Random commentary:
Inter-library loan is an amazing thing. One of my recent requests came to my New Jersey library from Alaska. For one dollar, the public libraries of America sent an elderly children's book roughly 3,400 miles.

I love red-tailed hawks. The muscle cars of the sky, they're highly visible and unmistakable, which is nice for the lazy sort of birdwatcher who really doesn't enjoy parsing out the difference between the Carolina and the Black-Capped Chickadee. And their scream is the eagle/hawk cry of a million movies, instantly evoking images of high plains drifters, cowboys, buttes and the wilderness.


AC said...

"The heroine and Lambert just set my teeth on edge."

Yeah, I got that impression. ;)

Re: Red tailed hawks. Last month, just as my car approached a highway underpass, a hawk came flying up the highway in the opposite direction right at eye level. I think we passed each other going approximately the same speed. Best view I've ever had of one of these birds, and I've never been so glad to not be a mouse.

Sarah said...

Cool. I have such a time stopping myself from being distracted by hawks while driving.