In celebration of warmer days, my sister and I exchanged “to-do” lists for this summer. Each of us made a list of 3 books, 5 activities, and 2 recipes we wanted the other the experience.
Now, my sister isn’t much of a bookworm. It took her a while to scratch out the 3 books she wanted me to read. As for me, I had a hard time limiting it to just three…
Anyway, the very first book she came up with for me to enjoy this summer was Flash by Rachel Anne Ridge.
My sister is a horse person. I’m talking full-fledged, eat, sleep, and breathe horse kinda person. So, a book about a donkey is right up her alley. Me? Not so much. I like horses, and all, but ain’t no way Jose that I’ll ever find the scent of horse manure anything less than gross.
But I do have a soft spot for books. So, I can handle a book about a member of the equine family just fine in dandy. No disgusting smells involved.
Turns out Flash was more than what I expected. I finished it in about 3 days, it was so good.
In this memoir of faith, family, and everyday encounters, Rachel Anne Ridge recounts the story of how a stray donkey wandered into her life and turned it upside down. This is no ordinary little beast of burden. No, Flash is his own kind of donkey. This little guy has a big personality and is never afraid to push his limits.
Like the night he broke out of the pasture to have a little romantic rendezvous with the mare next-door.
Or the time he vandalized the practice putting green in the barn and left his signature pile of donkey poo in the middle of the mess. Twice.
Or when he made peace with his lifetime archenemy – the dog – right before the dog died.
Through watching her furry friend take on life in bites sometimes too big to swallow, Rachel learns a few things about herself. She and her husband are struggling to make a go of it in their small mural-painting business, and she is dealing with insecurity. It doesn’t help matters that her neighbor is the model Southern-belle, brie-serving Saint who insists on calling Flash Hay-soos (that’s Jesús).
Flash serves as Rachel’s inspiration, a tool that God uses to show her to let go of her mask of perfection and her burden of insecurities and just take a risk. Her story is one of finding freedom in following the care-free ways of the donkey that was just standing in her driveway one night when she and her husband came home from a hard day of painting murals.
This book had me laughing out loud on several occasions. Rachel’s writing style is so personable, it’s like she’s sitting in your living room telling you her funny stories about her unusual pet. And what’s more, her object lessons are something that anyone can relate to. She encourages readers to “Be trailblazers,” “Run with horses,” and “Find your passion,” all while showing how she herself did it with the help of God and the inspiration of her donkey.
Readers of all ages will enjoy this book. Kids 12 and over should have no problem with the reading-level, and for younger readers, consider checking out Rachel’s new children’s book, Flash the Donkey Makes New Friends, set to release this October.
Flash comes highly recommended, to equine enthusiasts and not-so-horsey-people (like myself) alike!