Stable Relation:
A Memoir of Horses, Healing and Country Living

by Anna Blake

Prairie Moon Press, 2015. ISBN 978-0-996-49120-4.
Reviewed by Khadijah A.
Posted on 11/02/2015

Nonfiction: Memoir

As soon as I see "midlife crisis" in relation to a book, I tend to shy away. I am so happy that I didn't do so with Anna Blake's Stable Relation, because I would have missed out on a truly wonderful read.

Blake writes — with insight, humor, and a fierce honesty that is refreshing to encounter — about her transition from being a Denver goldsmith with a couple of horses she rides in dressage competitions to living on a farm with a menagerie of animals. She shares soul-revealing inner struggles with us alongside of day-to-day get-covered-in-mud-and-other-things struggles, and it is this balance and truth that draws the reader in and keeps her reading to the very end of the book.

Blake's animal companions come alive, as does her connection and care for each of them to varying degrees. She doesn't get woo-woo about this connection; rather, she makes it seem like the most natural thing in the world, something we can all attain if we take the time to slow down and really listen instead of always looking ahead and thinking of what we want to say or do. The number of times I laughed out loud or burst into tears while reading the book is proof positive of Blake's strong writing; and her ability to bring her characters to life allows us to see each scene as it plays out before us.

Stable Relation is more than a midlife crisis story. It is a story of courage, vulnerability, and awakening that strikes the chord of humanity in each of us with perfect pitch.

Anna Blake is a writer and professional horse trainer/riding instructor on the Colorado prairie. Infinity Farm is home to a multi-species herd of horses, llamas, goats, and Edgar Rice Burro, her publicist. She is a sixty-year-old high school graduate who was a self-employed goldsmith for thirty-five years, showing her one-of-a-kind artwork in galleries from coast to coast. Visit her website.

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