Press & Reviews
FROM THE PRESS ABOUT CHOSEN FOREVER
"Richards reflects on how rich life becomes when one travels her own best path. . . . Richards writes more courageously than she perhaps realizes, and each page of this uplifting book will touch a chord in everyone who enjoyed her first book." --Booklist
"Charismatic. . . Engaging writing by an honest self-explorer." --Kirkus Reviews
"If you loved Chosen by a Horse, and I did, then you'll want to read Chosen Forever, the story of what Susan Richards did after the death of Lay Me Down. Susan's childhood and youth were dreadful. She only pulled herself together for the sake of her beloved pets and it was only due to Lay Me Down that she was able to break free of her horrid past and actually live. Living let's her write the original memoir, promote the book, meet a decent man and have the courage to trust and love him. Reading Chosen Forever is like seeing a hard luck relative finally catch the break you always knew they deserved. It's a triumphant end." --Kimberly Wilson - Amazon Reader Reviews
FROM THE PRESS ABOUT CHOSEN BY A HORSE
"A tender lesson in courage and dependence." Kirkus Reviews
"This is an inspirational story of what family means, and what the loss of one can do to us, and for us." Naomi Rand, author, most recently, of It's Raining Men for The Boston Globe
"...this is a bracing and likable book, highly recommended for backyard horsewomen and their admirers." Publishers Weekly
"The lessons of love come in many different forms. Fascinated by the affection [her horse, Lay Me Down,] accords a stranger, Richards notes the mare's courage and slowly begins to emulate it in her own life, opening up to a love affair and its aftermath and proving to herself that she will not run when life pushes hard against her heart." Pamela Crossland for Booklist from the American Library Association.
"The prose style of the memoir is straightforward and often elegant. Richards tells us of crunching snow and starlight; she also tells us of the emotional landscape she experiences with an aplomb that is winsome: Maybe because having a horse meant your life had been touched by a beautiful mystery. Richards' memoir is a brief reading experience, but a necessary one for any one for whom the emotional or spiritual realm of life has value." Reviewed by Cosmoetica “SuZi”
"Though horse lovers will find special appeal, this is not strictly a horse-centric tale. It's a story for anyone who has ever loved fiercely and lost, thought that pain had damaged them beyond fixing, or wondered if facing death also means facing life." Susan Krawitz for Chronogram, June 2006
Chosen by a Horse contains several extraordinary action sequences (Richards’ strength).... It also has moments of great silence and stillness.... I’ll never forget Lay Me Down or Hotshot.” Newsday
“This is a book that will break you to tears, but leave you grateful. A stark, unvarnished, uplifting, heartbreaking, telling of the tale of life—with horses.” The Gated Horse
“First time author Susan Richards enters the ring like a pro. In her book, Chosen By A Horse: A Memoir, she woos readers with an autobiographical account of the rescue of an abused mare and her foal from the SPCA. With an approach to storytelling that catches the reader off guard and caught up in the plight of the emaciated and exhausted mare, Richards cleverly mirrors the more universal issue of abuse and the barriers of isolation it causes – for people as well as animals – making this not just another story about a horse rescue, but a story about daring to overcome a bad beginning and try again." Nancy Cole, The Equestrian News, Aug/Sep 2006
"Richards has woven a marvelous read, delicately entwining her life with those of her horses. One in particular, Lay Me Down, is her soul mate, and the two heal one another's wounds from the past on their journey through life. Sad at the end, but beautiful and positive all at the same time. This is truly a wonderful, tender book." Wendy Kerop, The Turning Page, Old Lyme, CT for Book Sense Picks & Notables Preview, July 2006
“Chosen by a Horse chronicles the bond that grew between Susan and Lay Me Down over the next year or so. It's an incredibly moving story, beautifully written and insightful. Anyone can enjoy this wonderful book. Horse lovers, however, will savor Susan's clever descriptions of the interactions, looks and personalities of her four horses….” – Roanoke Times
“With Chosen by a Horse, [Richards] has produced a wise and generous book, an unforgettable testament to the mutual need that marks the bond between humans and animals.”—BookPage
"Horse Sense. I predict good things for a wonderful book just out from Soho Press. ...it's received great quotes, notably from Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation." The Publishing Insider
"Proof that love for another animal can alone make one human and humane: wit and crushing sadness chasing each other all across the page; intelligence and bravery and perfect literary pitch... Damn great." Melissa Holbrook Pierson, author of Dark Horses and Black Beauties: Animals; Women, a Passion
"A triumph for all spirits." Laura Shaine Cunningham, author of A Place in the Country.
"Should rank with the great animal stories." Ann Arensberg, author of Incubus.
"Two kindred spirits find each other in this beautifully written memoir about the human-animal bond." Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
"Poignant and evocative, this is a book for anyone who has ever loved a horse, and for everyone who has ever lost a loved one."
"Psychotherapist and animal lover Richards (writing, Marist Coll., Poughkeepsie, NY) eloquently and movingly recounts her relationship with a horse...Highly recommended for all public libraries." Patsy Gray, Huntsville P.L., AL for Library Journal
"This book will make you laugh and cry! The abused horse that walks into Susan Richards' life at the SPCA adoption teachs her about many of life's lessons; such as overcoming pain and abuse caused by others and learning to trust again. A very moving book; laugh-out-loud, cry-out-loud!" Betty, June 19, 2006, for Powell's Books
Chosen By A Horse was a July, 2006 Book Sense pick, an Original Voices selection by Borders Books, June, 2006, and one of the 18 books chosen by Barnes & Noble for their Discover Great New Writers selection, Fall, 2006.
FROM AMAZON.COM REVIEWERS
"Wonderful memoir." Mary P. Lawrence
"A beautiful and moving memoir. I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in horses, interspecies communication, sanctuary, or the art of memoir." Karen Tweedy-Holmes
"It went straight into my heart...A delicious book" Jan R. Schulman
"Susan Richards is a kindred spirit. She's captured in words what so many of us feel about our lives...and healed us through this poignant memoir. Susan speaks for an entire generation through this moving story of a woman and her horse." Brook Wellington "Urban Farmsteader" (USA)
"A beautiful book I'll read again and again." Lisa Ann Paul "FriscoBookworm", San Francisco, CA
“Perfect candor, perfect pacing, perfect writing, perfect horse for the perfect moment in a human's life. Nothing but admiration for the book, the writer, and the horses.” A Constant Reader, New York, NY
"A story of transformation through....goodness." K. Mueller
"The right to grieve. Susan's memoir is honest, lean, and, haunting, and long after you close on the final image of her laying her grief and her horse to rest, you will remember the gentle beauty and quiet strength that she reveals while she offers her readers an unflinching examination of her life." Jennifer Kaufman, New Paltz, NY
"Exquisitely written, spare, and flat out magnificent." Caroline Leavitt, Hoboken, NJ
"Could not put it down...Richard's writing skill is above reproach. It is just a pure joy to read. My only complaint is that the book had to end. My only hope is that she write more wonderfully honest books about her life & that of her horses." Sasha Carpenter "Horses Forever"
"A treasure you should not miss." J (Maryland)
"Loved it. Great book. I read it in one sitting. An amazing account of how horses can teach us how to love and trust." Displaced Southerner (Minnesota)