Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: The Highest Stakes by Emery Lee

Publisher: Sourcebooks 
Pages: 538 
Source: Publisher 

'The Highest Stakes' is a novel about life, loss and the courage to endure. Charlotte Wallace was a young girl when her parents died, suddenly orphaned, she was sent to live with her only living relatives. She was placed under her uncaring uncle's guardianship and secretly developed a passion for horses. Charlotte found refuge in the stables. She was a skilled equestrian during a time when women were not allowed to race. Her ruthless, horse obsessed uncle saw life as a business proposition and Charlotte was a mere pawn in his game, he intended to marry her off to the highest bidder with no intention of allowing her to marry her true love, the stable hand named Robert Devington. Robert, young, hopeful and strong-willed sets out to make a name for himself, he's optimistic he will be able to prove his worth to Sir Garfield Wallace and win Charlotte's hand. Charlotte is the only pawn in Sir Garfield's Wallace's plan, his own children were used to higher his position in society. His daughter Beatrix finds herself in a fragile position, threatening her future and her father's reputation. 'The Highest Stakes' is a riveting, unpredictable, historical read with great story lines. 

I really enjoyed this novel. Emery Lee is an outstanding in this debut novel, recreating a time I knew little about. Her story placed me into a world with political unrest, thoroughbred horse-racing and family disputes. As a history buff, I loved this novel. I wasn't sure what to expect, I've never read anything about horse racing, and thought it might not be for me. I was wrong, this was a book for me. The historical facts didn't interfere with the story lines, it added to the character's lives. I highly recommend this one. 


  1. I have this book and follow the author on FB. I hope to read it in the new year so I'm glad to see you liked it.

  2. Lee is a local author for me, so I really need to read this book. To be honest, I've hesitated because it's so long!

  3. I'm a huge horse person, so I think all the history in this one and the incorporation of horse racing would be something that really appeals to me! Good to know all the historical facts don't overpower the good story, and it's easy to get swept up in it:) Thanks for the recommendation Jennifer!

  4. I am not really into horse books, but the historical aspects sound really wonderful and I can see myself really enjoying a book like this. I am so glad that you loved this one and that it held your interest. I will be taking a closer look at it in the near future. Thanks!

  5. This sounds like a pretty good read. I love the history aspect of it and the political unrest. The underlying love story seems very interesting as well. Nice review.

  6. I was first interested in this because it has racing but I like the history aspect too. It sounds very good and I'm happy you enjoyed it!