The leaping chalk horse, carved into an English hillside in the Bronze Age, stands witness to centuries of human endeavour. For Stella, raw from the hurt of a long-standing love affair with a married man, it represents home - sanctuary from the adrenalin-fuelled highs and corresponding lows of her career as a singer. Stella is tough, talented, spiky and funny; adored by every man in every audience but a loser in love.
Writer Spencer McColl is a veteran of World War II, an American ex-fighter pilot with bittersweet memories of his glory days in the village of Church Norton, and of one girl in particular. Now in his seventies, he's making a last sentimental journey from Wyoming to the English of his mother's childhood, and the white horse, to pay tribute to the past.
The Latimer family estate of Bells, in the shadow of the horse, represents the best of Victorian values, but is touched by tragedy. When younger son Harry Latimer sets off to the Crimea as a captain in the Hussars, he does so with a heart burdened by his undeclared love for his sister-in-law, Rachel. The terrible reality of the battlefield, where mismanagement and disease prove as deadly as the enemy, provides a bitter contrast to Harry's memories of the tranquillity of his rural home.
Stella, Spencer, Harry - each marches to the tune of a different drum, but all there march with stout hearts and heads held high, to meet life face on.
- Publication Date:
- 10 / 11 / 2004