Stable Relation: A memoir of one woman's spirited journey home, by way of the barn

Stable Relation: A memoir of one woman's spirited journey home, by way of the barn

by Anna M Blake


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996491204
Publisher: Prairie Moon Press
Publication date: 06/24/2015
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 425,107
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.51(d)

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Stable Relation: A memoir of one woman's spirited journey home, by way of the barn 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Sharon Aaland More than 1 year ago
It has been a few weeks since I finished this book, but it has stayed with me... to the point when I climb on the plane next week it is going with me for a second read.  I'm not a person that re-reads a book, but this one is an exception.  It isn't just about horses... or dogs... or llamas... it is about life.  It is an amazing story of a woman with the strength to start over and create a home, with a new family.  I love the style it is written in... each chapter is it's own story.  So if you only have a minute to read, go ahead pick up Stable Relation, you will be able to read a chapter, they aren't long, and they read fast.  Hence, I will read it again... and maybe again, maybe I missed something... A beautiful story, that had me laughing and crying and still wanting more!
Kari Neumeyer More than 1 year ago
This book is terrific for people, like me, who like animals better than people. Early on, I wondered why Blake didn’t give a name to the realtor who helped her buy a farm. Then I realized that no people have names in this book, not even the narrator, if I’m not mistaken. The animals have names though, wonderful names like Spirit and Spam and Thisby and Ernest. The animals are the central characters. In the early pages, Blake makes a perfectly reasonable life choice to buy a farm to give her two horses and two dogs room to roam. When she’s lonely, she brings home llamas, goats, a donkey, some ducks … Most powerful to me are the voices of the animals as Blake hears them. To say she loves animals is an understatement; she “gets” them. She may have inherited her mother’s chin, but she’s evolved to have equine eyes. I don’t know much about horses; I’m a dog person. (I had to look up “Dressage” in Wikipedia). This book has shown me the appeal. Horses live much longer than dogs, and it warms my heart to close the book and know that Spirit still lives.
Misty_Mare More than 1 year ago
I'm on my 2nd reading of this memoir, Stable Relation by Anna Blake. I loved it that much! Each tangy chapter is written with wit and insight as the author shares her life's lessons learned while growing up in a dysfunctional farming family, to her successful urban career, and then drawn back to farm life, shared with a delightful cast of critters along the way. It's a must-read for any hard working woman who has experienced life's hard knocks and pulled herself up by her own bootstraps. It's an inspirational story of tenacity, hope, and achievement. Engagingly written with humor and sensitivity that is forged out of experience, determination, and a love for life. It reads like a funny, suspenseful, gritty, and heartwarming novel.
Diane Alexander More than 1 year ago
Every once in a while you come across a book that stays with you; “Stable Relation” is one of those rare finds. And if you think, “I’m just not into horses that much, so this book isn’t for me,” you are dead wrong; it’s about so much more: life, hardship, survival, and love. In this skillfully written memoir, Blake deftly draws us in from the start. She interweaves her past and present life in a way that will have you turning pages as quickly as you can. This account of her life, told in kaleidoscopic fashion rather than serially, has a magical way of beguiling the reader. Blake has no problem being critical of others (who deserve it) or being self-deprecating when she thinks she deserves it. Her sly, wry wit is a breath of fresh air, as is her shrewd sarcasm. At the same time, the reader soon comes to understand her feelings and motivations; Blake slowly reveals her past, and you’ll be rooting for her before you know it. It’s impossible not to become immersed in the honest, genuine attachment she has for her animals, something she’s always had trouble doing with people. You’ll see why. Anyone who has ever loved or even liked an animal will become immersed in her story, with its unwavering quest of understanding them, caring for them, and humanely training them. But this book goes much further than that. It’s a journey many of us can relate to; a voyage of the inner self. It touched me deeply.
swampdeb More than 1 year ago
wonderfully written, a joy to read, and an amazing amount of insight and spirit.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite Jane Goodall didn’t have the usual pedigree, the high levels of academic education, to qualify as an animal specialist, but she did have the ability to sit back and observe closely. Her work with chimpanzees in Gombe, Africa encouraged many people around the world to look at the animal kingdom in a very different light. As Anna Blake writes in her book, Stable Relation, “It’s the human curse of putting intellect above instinct.” Jane showed us the ability to use instinct. Anna, following her idol’s example, explores the power of the animal kingdom even further, following the instinct to sit back and listen to her animals, but, in Anna’s case, she does so in the simplicity of a small farm on the Colorado prairie. Experts often talk and write about the ability of animals to communicate with humans and with each other, as well as the ability of animals to console and heal. Anna doesn’t need complicated degrees to understand her animals. In fact, going through a difficult mid-life crisis, she contradicts the norm of what most people might do in similar situations. Anna leaves the mad rush of urban living and retreats to a very run-down fixer-upper farm and brings her dogs and horses, only to add cats, llamas and goats to the mix as well. As she writes in Stable Relation, she discovers that it’s not her, Anna, who is running the farm and leading the herd, but rather it’s the animals around her, particular her special horse, Spirit who, as he ages, becomes the grandfather of not just her menagerie of animals, but her as well. There is magic in her animals, a healing magic. “To ride the quicksilver magic of animals involves shutting up and opening to possibility past our own mental limitations. We have to let them be magic – it’s who they all are, if we get our egos out of the way.” Stable Relation is a memoir of sorts. It tells Anna’s story, not just as she rescues an old farmstead, not just as she accumulates more animals, not just as she teaches others and shares the therapeutic wholeness of her animal experience - it’s her story from beginning to present. Anna’s story is one of childhood abuse, neglect, bullying and how one woman could recover from this, and a failed marriage as well, by communing with horses and dogs and cats and llamas and goats. “While some might have sought sanctuary in a church, I found a spiritual safe-haven in the barn. I was made welcome in the herd, like the other lost girls before me. To this day, a deep, slow whisper of a nicker, barely audible, is a balm to my soul.” A psychic once told Anna that she would commune with aliens. Perhaps those aliens were the spiritual essence of her animal kingdom, past, present and future. “And in this conditional world, it’s only dogs who believe in free love. Friendships naturally ebb and flow, the circle of life can’t be controlled or altered much, but dog love is eternal. Let there always be dogs.” This is an inspirational and insightfully consoling story, one that will touch the heart strings of animal lovers everywhere.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Java Davis for Readers' Favorite I adored the beginning chapters of Stable Relation by Anna M. Blake. Anna was a country girl who became a successful city girl as a goldsmith with her own gallery spaces. When her life in the city goes sideways, the country girl reemerges. Anna buys a run-down horse farm in Colorado and begins building a menagerie. These early chapters are filled with comic relief and wry, self-deprecating humor. The blend of drama and comedy was highly entertaining. After Anna moves to the farm with her horses and dog, she finds that there's still room in her heart and her household for more animals, more species of animals. Over the years, she acquires cats, ducks, llamas, a donkey, a burro, and goats, and makes friends with wild ducks and geese courtesy of the pond on her property. Most chapters feature one animal, and this is the story of Anna's work to befriend all the animals on their levels, rather than request that they meet her on her level. She shows extraordinary patience and understanding. None of her animals are mere livestock -- they are all family, playing out their own roles in the Blake family dynamic. Anna has always had a level of discomfort in the human world. Adults who were neglected or abused as children never learn the socialization skills necessary to blend in. Some of the chapters in the book refer back to her birth family and its tense and unhappy balancing act. Readers will see the the confusion of Anna reflected against her human family, and the grace of Anna reflected against her small, animal kingdom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's rare when you love a book to this degree. Anna is that good. She's funny and deep; describing her life in honest and heartfelt manner. I'm a guy. Other reviewers, who do a great job in reviewing the book, are women. What I'm saying is that any guy with a modicum of interest in animals and the traumas that life hands us will love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stable Relation is a book that went right to my heart. I loved it so much, I recommended it to several friends who all loved it as well and have since gone on to recommend it to others. Don't let the title and the cover fool you--this is not just a book for "horse people". This is a book for anyone who loves animals. Each story about Anna's relationships with the animals on her farm touched my heart, often made me laugh, and gave me a deeper and sweeter appreciation for the animals in my life. Anna is a storyteller of the best kind. She can take topics that might seem tailored for a specific group (like horse people) and make them connect to something that is universal within all of us.