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If Wishes Were Horses

If Wishes Were Horses

4.1 84
by Robert Barclay

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In the spirit of Nicholas Sparks comes If Wishes Were Horses. Author Robert Barclay has crafted a deeply moving story of love, hope, and forgiveness, as two damaged souls torn apart by a common tragedy slowly find a way to heal. Destined to be a much-beloved classic on a par with Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County, Barclay's If


In the spirit of Nicholas Sparks comes If Wishes Were Horses. Author Robert Barclay has crafted a deeply moving story of love, hope, and forgiveness, as two damaged souls torn apart by a common tragedy slowly find a way to heal. Destined to be a much-beloved classic on a par with Robert James Waller's The Bridges of Madison County, Barclay's If Wishes Were Horses is a story rich in emotion that will touch the heart of every reader who fervently believes in second chances at love.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Barclay takes the Nicholas Sparks formula out for a limping spin in his melodramatic debut weepy. Wyatt Blaine's happy world crumbles on his 35th birthday when his wife and his son are killed by a drunk driver. Five years later, Wyatt still hasn't recovered from their deaths, and Trevor MacPherson--the 14-year-old son of the man who killed Wyatt's family--is having problems at school and is offered one last chance: participate in the New Beginnings horse therapy program on the Blaine ranch. Blaine is shocked and furious when he finds out who Trevor is, but he allows him into the program. A bigger surprise comes in the form of Trevor's mother, Gabby, who is the most attractive and interesting woman Blaine has met since his wife's death. Barclay clearly knows a great deal about horsemanship, though the contrived romance angle is tough to get past, especially considering how central it is. Wyatt's irascible father provides some relief, but the clunky writing and maudlin aesthetic make this a nonstarter. (Feb.)
NY Journal of Books
[If Wishes Were Horses] will satisfy fans of sweet romances and tender family sagas… Mr. Barclay weaves a quiet tale about people with hearts of gold, each barely coping with inner demons or tragic circumstances, who learn that they need one another in order to find redemption.
Romance Reviews Today
“IF WISHES WERE HORSES is chock full of wonderful characters. The novel is a moving one, at turns poignant, sad, dramatic, amusing, and hopeful.”
PBG Lifestyle Magazine
“A powerful story...You’ll rejoice in the triumphs experienced at a horse-therapy program for troubled teens and observe how results can best be achieved through actions.”
Earlene Scott
“I loved it. A great read myself and staff enjoyed very much, with wonderful characters and writing.”
Kirkus Reviews

A horse-therapy program helps mitigate the tragic consequences of a drunk-driving accident, in businessman Barclay's debut.

The author's concept is solid. In a Boca Ratan auto crash, a drunk driver and the occupants of the vehicle he hit are killed. Five years later, Wyatt Blaine, whose wife Krista and son Danny died in the accident, and Gabrielle"Gabby" Powers, widow of the drunk driver, meet. Their minister has persuaded Wyatt to admit Gabby's troubled son, Trevor, to an equine-therapy program at the Blaine family's Flying B Ranch. Wyatt and Gabby are understandably wary of one another, and Trevor thinks Krista caused the accident. With such material, why is this earnest first novel about as riveting as a five-hour PowerPoint presentation? Perhaps it's the sluggish narration and excessive attention to preliminaries. The equine therapy doesn't even start until some 100 pages in. The program's impact on Gabby's son Trevor, whose combativeness in school, not helped by his retro–James Dean get-up, has him on the verge of expulsion, is never really shown—one minute he's slouching and not making eye contact, the next minute he's respectful to adults, having exchanged his greaser persona for a Stetson and cowboy boots. The attraction between Gabby and Wyatt is as rote as the appeal of Barbie for Ken, a pair they also resemble physically. Two minor characters threaten to run away with the story. Ramsey (Ram) Blaine, founder and patriarch of the Flying B, is desperately trying to stave off Alzheimer's and hold on to the reins as benevolent dictator and champion of underdogs like Trevor and Gabby. Then there is Mercy, a ranch hand who cleans up as well as any filly but can out-wrangle any guy, whether at horsemanship, poker or drinking. Her only weakness is her unrequited passion forWyatt. Several interesting conflicts are introduced but not developed—the preposterously catastrophic close hardly makes up the drama deficit.

A promising premise is scuttled by mawkish writing, dithering dialogue and a meandering plot.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

Earlene Scott
“I loved it. A great read myself and staff enjoyed very much, with wonderful characters and writing.”

Meet the Author

After graduating from Colgate University with a B.A. in economics and a minor in art history, Robert Barclay enjoyed a successful career in business, also serving as chairman of his industry-related consulting group. After selling his business, he devoted his time to writing. His previous novels include If Wishes Were Horses and More Than Words Can Say. He lives with his wife in Florida.

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If Wishes Were Horses 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 84 reviews.
PrincessGlor More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up over the weekend because the cover and story seemed intriguing and it was a Nicholas Sparks type novel. I read this story in two days and loved it! Wyatt and Gabby are bound by tragedy when Gabby's husband drives drunk and kills Wyatt's wife and son. Five years after the accident, Wyatt decides to revive his late wife's program "New Beginnings" which helps troubled teens by combining therapy and horses. Gabby's rebellious fourteen year old son Trevor is accepted into the program causing Gabby, Wyatt and Trevor to deal with the tragedy that intertwines their lives. This is a great story. I love the horse part of the storyline. The book is filled with vivid characters like Ram-Wyatt's father, Aunt Lou and Big John and Mercy who work on the ranch and Reverend Jacobson. If you love horses or Nicholas Sparks, then I think you'll definitely enjoy this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the reviews and thought- sounds like a good book. Thank God I got it from the library. To have bought it would have been a complete waste. The story was predictable from beginning to end and lacked substance. The writing was juvenile and I found that I could jump paragraphs and not miss a thing because I knew what was coming. Would not recommend but if you do read it - GET IT FROM THE LIBRARY. That way you won't feel financially invested if you get started and don't want to finish.
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
Just finished reading Mr. Barclay's wonderful book... I do not read books written by men as a rule but I found his ability to delve into human feelings and translate them to the written page wonderfully refreshing... He made his characters vibrant and one could envision them clearly and share their grief and their pain as well as their love and joy... I thoroughly enjoyed the story which brought together two families as a result of a great tragedy and will look for future books by the author...I compliment the author on a beautifully portrayed love story without being graphic in the details... Rarely do I laugh and cry in the same book but I must confess that in addition to many smiles I shed a few tears in this wonderfully warm and very human story...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not awful. Not great
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Failed to engage the reader with the characters~juvenile writing style Its awful in so many ways
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was just an all around good story and though it was fiction, I could actually see it happening. I hope Robert Barclay has more books coming out.
Brittany Greer More than 1 year ago
this book was great, i couldnt put it down!!!!
ladyofthebooks More than 1 year ago
A wonderful story that grabbed me right off. Two families dealing with senseless death of loved ones and trying to find love and forgiveness through a program of horse therapy. It shows how we allow the pain we feel to overwhelm us and keeps us unhappy and distant from the ones we love, but gives us hope that we can turn that around.
Vickimac More than 1 year ago
I started reading this book and, literally, couldn't put it down until I had finished it! I live in south Florida and can actually visit some of the areas mentioned in the book, which made it even easier for me to visualize. I love the idea of championing horse therapy for kids (I could use a little myself at times)and how well the characters are fleshed out. I have a friend in Colorado who had a big horse ranch and we used to go out riding in the huge fields and pastures, so I pictured the Blaine ranch looking similar to this, except there were no alligators in Colorado! I hope the author will seriously think of writing a sequel and delve more deeply into the lives of the characters as the years go on.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Boca Raton Wyatt Blaine asks his wife Krista to buy ice cream for his thirty fifth birthday party celebrated at the ranch of his septuagenarian widow father Ramsey. Soon afterward his brother Morgan informs Wyatt his wife and their son Danny died in a car crash caused by the other driver Jason Powers drunk driving who died leaving behind a widow Gabrielle and a seven years old son Trevor. Five years later, Gabby and Trevor attend the St. Andrews Episcopal Church, which Wyatt goes to also. To honor Krista, he informs Reverend James Jacobson that he plans to bring back her successful horse therapy New Beginnings Program. James is extremely happy about the program and Wyatt is showing some signs of moving on, but is worried about his reaction when he learns Gabby has signed up troubled Trevor who has failed to move on since his beloved dad died. He blames Krista for his father's death in spite of his mom's efforts to get him to accept the truth. James introduces Gabby to Wyatt, who is irate with the joke. Gabby pleads with him that Trevor needs help that she cannot afford and James reminded him Krista never said no. Wyatt angrily agrees. Gabby realizes that her son and Wyatt are similar. Trevor blames Krista and Wyatt blames Gabby. At the ranch, it is obvious to everyone especially Ramsey that the adults are attracted to one another and her son troubled though happy with the horses, but the deadly car crash keeps them divided. The lead couple is a dynamic pairing of star-crossed lovers who share the same tragedy while the support cast is strong enhancing the understanding of the lead couple. Although the psychological horse therapy aspects are not developed very deeply, readers will enjoy Robert Barclay's engaging tale. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to 'foal' res 4. It has a foal running with its mama on the front. <br> And will you please go to 'keeh' res 2 and tell Ash to go to our back up book?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hai! (Stupid nook. -.-)
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have a big brown horse! As i give it a carrot after a rife
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I walk in the barn with some food and such* hey thunder
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cam in with carrots "here you go big boy!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had never heard of Robert Barclay but purchased this book on a whim. To say the least, I was very pleasantly surprised. I strongly recommend this read to anyone and everyone. A GREAT book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful love story of forgiveness and moving beyond grief...love for the beautiful animal, the horse...the love and forgiveness that all humans need!
GVS330 More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book!  I laughed, cried and just enjoyed it totally! I couldn't put it down.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago