HERE TO STAY – Catherine Anderson
A Harrigan Family Novel , Book 3
Present Day Crystal Falls, Oregon
Zach Harrigan is the youngest of rancher Frank Harrigan's five children. Like the rest, Zach was given one sixth of Frank's ranch as his own when he turned twenty-one. Though long known as the wildest of the Harrigan's for his bar and bed hopping, he's a very successful breeder and trainer of quarter horses. What is generally unknown is that two years ago, Zach experienced one of those watershed moments that change one forever. Since then, he has been learning all he can about service animals and is now in the process of training an adorable miniature horse named Rosebud to become a guide for the blind.
Through years of abandonment and abuse, Amanda Pajeck's primary focus in life has been her blind younger brother Luke. She works at home to better care for him. In truth, through love and a lingering feeling of guilt, she has spoiled him greatly, to the point that he does nothing for himself. But now that he's nineteen, Mandy is desperate for him to attend college and have a life of his own. He refuses a cane and is strongly afraid of dogs. So when a TV show broadcasts an encounter with Zach Harrigan and Rosebud, Mandy schemes to get the guide horse for Luke. In that, the meeting is a disaster. Luke's behavior is rude and bratty, and Zach judges him unfit to own an animal. Yet things click between Zach and Mandy.
In the moving, heartfelt HERE TO STAY, as in all Catherine Anderson's novels, there are challenges to overcome, sometimes physical ones as in Luke's case, but always both internal and external. One of the immediate external conflicts concerns a dangerous stallion. One of more longstanding is the suspense involving Mandy and Luke's parents and the incident that led to Luke's blinding.
Another of Ms. Anderson's hallmarks is the importance of family. The Harrigans and the Coulters have starred in many of her novels, and they all are unforgettable characters who are made better through love. To become more familiar with Ms. Anderson's world, check out her website at www.catherineanderson.com .
For an emotionally and intellectually satisfying tale, I highly recommend HERE TO STAY. It's wonderful.