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Sunny Gale

Sunny Gale

By: Jamie Lisa Forbes
Publisher: Pronghorn Press
Publication Date: May 30, 2024
ISBN: 978-1-941052-72-3
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: March 12, 2024

Sunny Gale is a wonderful book by author Jamie Lisa Forbes that follows the life of Hannah Brandt, a woman who loves horses and, despite every obstacle thrown in her path, continues to fight to have a successful career in rodeo.

Hannah Brandt, who, at the beginning of the story, is living a very hard life in Nebraska, is not truly happy. Her mother and stepfather have brought the family to a desolate place, hoping to create a better life for themselves. Hannah is not one for this hard life and spends her days working the farm and dreaming of something bigger and better. When she finds a horse roaming the countryside, her love for these animals and her desire to have one of her own changes the way she looks at life. This horse, that she names Zephira, will alter the course of Hannah’s life.

Against her mother’s wishes, Hannah turns her love of horses into a stunning career as she transforms from a sad and unwilling farm girl into a very accomplished rider. After participating in the very first rodeo in Cheyanne in the late 1800s, Hannah changes her name to Sunny Gale and moves her focus to bronco riding, hoping to become the first woman to be successful in this male-dominated sport. The story also takes the reader on a wild ride through this woman’s life, including her marriages, her children, and her budding career filled with numerous successes and many terrifying and heartbreaking dangers.

Sunny Gale is a wonderfully written story that is filled with action and wonderful family moments along the way as well as historical accuracy of the time period. Sunny is a very strong and interesting protagonist and shows that strength throughout the story in the losses that she suffers and her ability and determination to never give up on her dreams. This author has presented readers with an excellent main character and so many secondary characters who are just as well-developed and important to the story. Even those characters who the reader may dislike are extremely well-written and have a place in this story. The dialogue is excellent, and the descriptive writing makes one feel that they are really in the wilderness trying to survive or in the rodeo ring trying to win, right alongside Sunny and the others.

Sunny Gale is exciting, well-written and developed, and will make the reader laugh and cry throughout. While this is the first book that I have read by this author, it will definitely not be the last. I was extremely impressed with the whole story and cannot wait to see what else is out there for my reading pleasure. I would highly recommend the story to all.

Quill says: Sunny Gale is a wonderful example of a story that will pull readers into a new world, in this case, one of rodeo riding and the entrance of women into the sport. With its wonderfully descriptive writing and historical accuracy, I am sure that it will be a great success and of interest to many.

For more information on Sunny Gale, please visit the author's website at:

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