by Claudia Culmone
Paperback, 163 pages
Published April 8th 2010
Everyone in the horse world knows Shanyn Tomilson’s name, and every young rider dreams of becoming just like her. But beneath the polish of her professional career, Shanyn is a troubled young woman with an empty and tragic past. When a health crisis threatens Shanyn’s ability to compete, she moves to a quiet coastal town, ready to accept the fact that her life is over. Instead of being her final resting place, Harbor’s End offers her a new start, and Shanyn discovers the secret to building the life she was never able to have. Harbor’s End is a vibrant story of love, life, and hope that will offer respite to all who seek it.
Shanyn Tomlinson leads the high powered life of an equestrian jumper, constantly in the ring, training and on circuits with her horse. She is driven and at the top of her game until a fall and crippling medial diagnosis take her from the media spotlight to a quiet coastal town for self-imposed retirement at the age of 22. All anyone knows about her mysterious personal life is what they read in the papers. Shanyn’s tight lipped about how she was raised without a mother or father since age 6 and the tragedy she’s endured.
Once in Harbor’s End, Oregon, she boards her prize winning stallion Magic at a local ranch owned by the Ellington family. Her days there consist of quiet private rides,then she bumps into their son Keith. Keith’s in his last year of school to become a Veterinarian. Shanyn is moved by his compassion towards abandoned and abused animals. Keith is drawn to Shanyn, sure he’s seen her some where else. She seems fragile and sad and Keith wants to win her trust in the same way he does the animals. He has so many questions…what would a girl her age be doing hidden aways from friends and family and why did she choose Harbor’s End?
While it took me a few chapters to catch on to Claudia’s writing and technical horse terms, once I did, I truly enjoyed Harbor’s End. Keith is a sensitive caring friend to Shanyn and he puts her needs before his own. Shanyn has a lot of self-discovery and soul searching to do. She is forced to face her fears, she finds peace in a new path of life. I wish there had been more of a resolution or foreshadowing to the future of Keith and Shanyn’s relationship. Or at least the promise of a sequel. I want to know what happens next!
The overall themes are forgiveness, faith, perseverance and friendship. Harbor’s End is hopeful and optimistic. Claudia Culmone teaches that each person has an important role to fulfill and a place in destiny. It is a short, clean read I would recommend to all. Thanks to the author for sending me an advanced reading copy. Purchase the book and learn more about the author here.
A Backwards Story
This sounds really good! Thank you for recommending it to us. I’ve never heard of the novel before.
Thanks for the review, I love horses and I’ve read several books about them and their riders. I like this book’s theme of how horses can impact our lives and to be unable to compete would be tragic. This books sounds like it captures what that would be like and how to build a new life.