Blind Ambition is the first novel from Derbyshire-based author Grace Harwood.
Like many little girls, Emily Devlin dreams of owning a horse and becoming a professional show jumper, but her path to fame and stardom is blocked by her fractious family background.
Her father’s failed show jumping team leads to the suicide of both parents, leaving Emily and her brother Scotty to the mercy of their harsh grandmother and the cruel bullying of the well-heeled world of double-barrelled families and pushy gymkhana parents.
After enduring and escaping the tutelage of the dangerous and vindictive show jumper Keith Denby and his stables, Emily is struck down with Stargadt’s disease in her late teens and loses her sight, plunging her into a period of personal darkness, until she meets The Blank, a white horse that has been written off just like the central character.
Against the odds, Emily and The Blank return to professional competition as she attempts to become the first registered blind woman to win the British Open. Aided by an earpiece operated by Scotty and given to her by new love interest “Mad” Jimmy Bridges, the infamous drummer from the fictional punk band Lights Out, horse and rider seek to take the show jumping world by storm while concealing Emily’s blindness.
Blind Ambition is not National Velvet or Black Beauty, but a gritty and witty tale of triumph over adversity set against a background of sex, drugs , rock n’ roll and horse trailers. The novel has received much critical acclaim from such writers as David Nobbs and has been recently shortlisted for The Guardian’s first book award.
This entertaining and engaging debut novel is an original re-working of the revenge of the underdog theme, and proves that with patience and perserverence something can come from nothing.
We have five signed copies of Blind Ambition to giveaway to our lucky readers who wish to enter the competition.
Send your name, address and telephone number to: Blind Ambition book competition, The Matlock Mercury, 4 Firs Parade, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3AS. No photocopies accepted. Normal competition rules apply and are available on request.