Born in an ambulance fleeing the disease and chaos of Tokyo following World War II, Nelle enters the world like a wild man riding bareback. As the daughter of a commissioned officer in the US Army and a courageous mother who is one of the first wives to join American soldiers in occupied Japan, Nelle’s young life is dictated by military orders that transport her family from Japan to Alaska to Texas and Louisiana. But it is not long before Nelle begins wearing the scars gained from an anchorless existence that erodes her foundation of stability and parental protection.
As her mother self-medicates her internal demons with alcohol and her father battles mental illness, Nelle emerges as a child who absorbs the strength and fortitude of parents now lost and wounded by war. She is nourished by a miraculous meeting of horses that impart the power to guide her through loss, humiliation, betrayal, and abandonment and embarks on a unique coming-of-age journey, in which she encounters people who recognize her abilities and set her life on a winning path.
In this compelling novel, a girl’s discovery of an ancient vessel and of a passion for the natural world restores order to her chaotic life and propels her to the ultimate redemption through the power of love.