One Chance by Emily Gillmor Murphy
A behind the scenes look at the Irish show jumping milieu where ambitions and hard work intermix with money, love, and desperation.
Poor, little rich girl, Liz, has the horse of a lifetime, Wildfire, and the discipline to get to the top as a show jumper. Her trainer is the top rider in Ireland, as talented and ruthless as they come. He’s married of course, and yet, he and Liz mix business with pleasure.
Farm boy, Matt, loves everything connected to show jumping and is willing to take the grunt work of a groom to gain entry. Four years in, he is still cleaning stalls and not riding.
Surprise, surprise! Liz and Matt meet, fall in love, show jump at various competitions, and eventually find their happy ending. The predictability of the story is high, but the charm of the show jumping world gives One Chance an individual flare. Thankfully, Emily Gillmor Murphy knows show jumping first hand, so the realism and accuracy are without fault, but, in my opinion, One Chance doesn’t rise above a nice story with likable characters.
In that respect, One Chance gives me hope as a wannabe published author. In my opinion, One Chance is an average novel: nice story, setting, characters, and writing, but without that oomph that can set it apart. I wonder, whether Emily’s age was a factor in the decision to publish. She was born in 1990 and One Chance, her second novel, was published at the age of 24. That is impressive in my book.
In choosing One Chance, I fell for the cover with the girl with the umbrella, kicking up water with joie de vivre. Unfortunately, the cover doesn’t correspond with the atmosphere or plot of One Chance.
One Chance is a nice, light read, perfect as an antidote to a great book, where you have difficulty in leaving the characters behind.