Maya's name means "journey about to begin." Nothing could be closer to the truth. Maya, who has lived with her strict grandmother since losing her parents at the age of 5, hates all the rules under which she lives. When her grandmother dies unexpectedly, Maya learns she will go to Wyoming to live with her mother's relatives. As it turns out, she was supposed to spend every summer with them. Her grandmother, always controlling, has kept Maya from knowing Aunt Vi and Uncle Moose. Maya is fearful of this new life; her grandmother's sheltering has left her so unsure of herself. Running parallel to Maya's story is that of Artemisia, a paint horse who lives in the wild. Artemisia and Maya's paths will, of course, intersect. Their existence will change; their love for one another will become a bond that will withstand much hardship.
More than a story of a girl and a horse, Ryan creates parallel stories that both sing with her skill in creating mental images. Just as we can see the carefully organized interior of Maya's closet in her grandmother's home, we can also see the wonder of Clay, the new foal born to Artemisia as he learns to suckle. One observation that SO resonated with me and stays with me after reading: you don't have to get OVER it, just get ON with it. Or how about this: destitute is the heart that misses nothing?