After her best friend, Annie, leaves for a fancy camp in New Hampshire, Ivy can’t imagine how she’s going to endure the long, hot Nevada summer with no one around but that pain-in-the-neck Billy Joe Butterworth next door and all those melancholy visitors to the Red Star Guest Ranch. Happily, an answer comes to Ivy in a flash of honey-colored topaz, and she cleverly hires herself out to take care of people’s farm animals or pets while they’re away.
So begins a summer of discovery for tenderhearted but sensible Ivy, who must win over the stubborn pony Chestnut, take on the challenge of training a puppy named Inca, and patiently court the trust of the magnificent but scarred racehorse Andromeda. All this while tending to her own private hurts and hopes and managing the hapless tagalong Billy Joe, who has a knack for trouble and accidents like nobody else!
Celebrated writer Rosemary Wells delivers a compassionately observed and exquisitely distilled novel set in the midcentury Southwest about a young heroine with an exceptional gift, a heart of gold, and a budding dream for her future.