A young woman runs away from home and finds love in the most unexpected place

In Meg Rosoff's fourth novel, a young woman in 1850s rural England runs away from home on horseback the day she's to marry her childhood sweetheart. Pell is from a poor preacher's family and she's watched her mother suffer for years under the burden of caring for an ever-increasing number of children. Pell yearns to escape the inevitable repetition of such a life.

She understands horses better than people and sets off for Salisbury Fair, where horse trading takes place, in the hope of finding work and buying herself some time. But as she rides farther away from home, Pell's feelings for her parents, her siblings, and her fiancé surprise her with their strength and alter the course of her travels. And her journey leads her to find love where she least expects it.

Rosoff's magical voice and her novel's ethereal setting will thrill her passionate longtime fans and garner her new ones.
“Rosoff’s prose is strong and muscular, its cadence that of a horse’s canter, its chiming tone ballad-like. Teens will be enthralled by Pell and her archetypal quest; adults will revel in the novel’s canny wit, lyricism and piercing insights.”
—LA Times
 
“Pell’s tale is slim yet rich, like a flourless chocolate cake. The lyrical passages and the strange and wonderful characters will linger with you long after the covers are closed. You’ll be tempted to devour the book in one gulp, to read it in one sitting, when really, it should be savored.”
—St Petersburg Times
 
“Another shift in emphasis for this always revelatory author as she illuminates the lives of the rural poor in the world of Hardy’s Wessex… it is not necessary to love horses, but you probably will after reading it.”
—The Bookseller
 
“Pell Ridley will captivate the readers of this book.”
—The Globe and Mail
 
“Rosoff specializes in feisty heroines, and her main character here, Pell Ridley, is no exception.”
—The Guardian (London)
 
“Meg Rosoff is a wonderful, captivating writer--her evocation of place and time are pitch-perfect.”
—Daily Telegraph (London)
 
“As exhilarating as a ride across the moors, Rosoff's fourth novel is rich in the emotional landscape of the untamed female heart. . . . Rosoff's vivid, pared-down style brings it closer to a kind of western . . . every sentence is crafted and weighted with beauty, but it's the intelligence and shaping sensibility with which the story is told that make it something special.”
—The Times (London)
 
“Rosoff specializes in feisty heroines, and her main character here, Pell Ridley, is no exception…. Rosoff never patronises her readership or succumbs to the desire to make goodness seem simple: her world is as morally ambiguous as it is deftly realized, and all the better for it.”
—The Guardian (London)