Reviewed by Fran.
With the smell of horse sweat, damp sawdust, sense of stifling heat beneath a big-top circus tent and untended gardens, the author throws her young hero, Wolfson, into Foxhall Gardens to take command and recreate a pleasure paradise. When faced with a disgruntled ex manager of mean intent, an array of pavilions and star acts that have seen better days, Wolfson is well aware his newly appointed position is irksome to old hands of the entertainment business, not least the ringmaster’s daughter.
Young Hettie knows her stuff all things horses, and even though Wolfson stirs something deep within her, she has as much to prove as he does in making a success out of what is readily to hand. Hettie has but two choices: a successful career as the star attraction or, she, her ailing father and a troupe of horses will be out on the street. With a little give and take along the way, although painful in conceding ground to the enemy, sometimes a presumed enemy is a stronger ally than one might expect.
Subsequently, as Foxhall Gardens begins its transition from jaded hell to paradise gained, jealousy, trickery and spite threaten Foxhall’s future progress. And so, with a romantic thread winding itself around Foxhall, Hettie dares and Wolfson strives for perfection, but not without cost to his heart, his sanity and final triumph in the midst of tragedy.