If Angela Donalson - a young woman, orphaned, living in poverty, with brains and ambition - were granted three wishes, she would want wealth, an education, and a family.
Marc Avery has always had everything he ever wanted. Now he wants a girl for his pleasure, a girl no one will miss.
When, in a bizarre twist of fate, Angie is abducted and held at Avery's remote Tennessee estate, she initially tries to thwart her captors. Unable to gain her freedom, Angie finds herself trading her morals to meet the challenges presented to her each day. As she comes to know the man behind her abduction, and comes to recognize that he can provide her with more than she ever dreamed possible, Angie faces dilemmas which will determine not only how she lives, but if she lives at all.
Combining a dynamic plot, remarkable characters, and a setting in the deep South, Pamela J. Dodd takes her readers for a wild ride on The Gift Horse.
Review by Angie Hulme
The Gift Horse is the story of Angie Donalson, a promising student from the poor side of the street, kidnapped and placed in a huge estate, locked up, chained up, searched, humiliated and taught to be a mistress to spoiled, rich Marc Avery.
A story with many twists, each one of them resulting in some form of 'What the...' or a gaping mouth! Yet each making psychological and factual (fictional) sense.
The author has an excellent grasp of the mind - both outer and inner - and utilises it with amazing effectiveness. Apart from one or two confusing time skips, Angie's situation is and mindset are made easy to follow and understand. Even the time skips that halt the reader momentarily are quickly explained and allow the story to flow steadily towards the conclusion that was always inevitable, but only seems that way when it happens!
The bad guys are shown from the start, and as Dodd leaves the story to unfold even Angie's keepers become human and - dare I say it? - likable!
Dodd has a remarkable talent for telling a story the reader just can't look away from! She instills just enough colour into scenes to allow the reader to develop the surroundings him/herself - though she is also very set in what she wants to definitely be there. This could have been a problem, if it wasn't for the fact that everything is put there for a reason.
She shows the feelings of the characters, rather than tells, and slips into the minds of others when appropriate, giving the story a fully rounded feel, and giving the reader an insight into what makes certain of the characters tick.
The book as a whole is fantastic, a great story which seems far-fetched on the surface, but becomes obvious and real when reading the whole thing.
Dodd obviously has a great talent and will rise far in the ranks of the writing field if she continues the way she has begun!
This is a highly original plot with social commentary on the rights of young women in our society. There is an obscure warning in all of this, but Ms. Dodd turns it around into a moral question. Is it worth it for a woman to subject herself to total domination by a powerful male in order to gain material security?
Having grown up in a family of storytellers, Pamela J. Dodd finds writing a natural activity. She spent twenty years teaching English to high and middle school students in Georgia's public and private schools and reads widely. Pamela lives in Georgia with her husband and two children.