Saturday 16 September 2023

Honey and the Valley of Horses

Honey and the Valley of Horses by Wendy Orr. Allen & Unwin 2023. General Fiction (Children’s/Teens). Paperback RRP $17.99. ISBN9781761068492

Reviewed by Debra Williams 

This novel by Wendy Orr starts out as a gentle story of loss and starting over. After illness sweeps the world, a family of five load up their converted ice-cream van and take off into a mountain area. Grumpa has died, and NanNan slides into deep grief. 4-year-old Honey’s parents and NanNan decide to escape the sadness and become self-sufficient, along with Honey and her baby brother, Rumi.

They find themselves in a beautiful, secret valley, to which the entrance track becomes closed behind them, and isn’t seen again for 7 years. Nor are they.

In the valley is a herd of enchanted wild horses. The children, as they grow, form a strong bond with the horses. The family enjoys their simple lifestyle, away from the rest of the world.  For seven years, they have no idea of anything that  happens outside of their valley.


Nobody knows what has become of the family, and other family members continue to search for them. When Honey’s father becomes gravely ill, she is determined to find a way to get him medical help. But how will that happen when both the track, and the bridge they crossed to get to the valley, have disappeared? Is the world-wide illness still rampaging?

The story picks up pace as a desperate Honey seeks to find a way to assistance, aided by her enchanted horse Moongold. There are dangers along the way. What follows is a heart-stopping race to save Papa. It’s a tale of determination and resilience by Honey, who is now 11 years of age.

This is a lovely story of hope, renewal, love, endearing and enduring friendships and a new beginning. It will be enjoyed by readers 8+ years of age.

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