Excerpt from Something More by Sarah Ban Breathnach, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Something More

Excavating Your Authentic Self

by Sarah Ban Breathnach

Something More by Sarah Ban Breathnach X
Something More by Sarah Ban Breathnach
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 1998, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2000, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

A Continuous Thread of Revelation
Things come suitable to their time.
ENID BANGOLD

Did you ever see the film National Velvet? Based on the heartwarming book written by Enid Bangoid, the film starred a teenage Elizabeth Taylor in her first leading role as Velvet Brown, a young English girl determined to transform an ordinary horse she'd won in a raffle into a racehorse. Every time she rides him, she sees herself trotting triumphantly into the winner's circle of the world's greatest steeplechase, the Grand National. Velvet believes that she and "The Pie" share a special destiny - that underneath his plain horsehide exterior beats the heart of a champion. But Velvet has a few obstacles in her path: she's fourteen, her parents think her dream is nonsense, and The Pie is actually unruly and untrained. Even if there were a trainer in the small English country village where she lives, there's no money for one, or for the race entrance fee or to hire a jockey, since girls are not permit to rides, in England's most illustrious horse race. However, as all dreamers know, these are but minor hurdles when a determined young lady is taking fate for a ride.

Remember Velvet Brown the next time you've got a few obstacles to overcome. If you do, you'll be delighted to discover, as I have, that there are few things in life more I satisfying than accomplishing whatever "they" tell you can't be done.

Since first grade I've held very firm convictions about money, fame, dreams and destiny. The origins of these opinions or how I formed them so early was always a mystery to me, especially since they bore no resemblance to the philosophical fare served up at home. I discovered one of the sources soon after I embarked on my own deeply personal excavation process, as I recalled cherished books from my childhood. Prominent among them was National Velvet. It had been given to me by my favorite aunt, who loved horses and wanted to share her enthusiasm with me. I'd finished the book practically in one sitting and declared, "If Velvet Brown can do it, so can I." It didn't matter that I hadn't a clue as to what my authentic it would be, but horseback riding seemed like a good place to start.

My parents couldn't afford horseback riding lessons and with four children in the family, wouldn't let Aunt Em "play favorites" and pay for them. Coincidentally, a local Girl Scout troop was sponsoring a contest for the most enterprising Brownie, and first prize was free horseback riding lessons. I spent most of that entire year earning extra merit badges. All my hard work was worth it the day Aunt Em took me shopping for my new riding gear, followed by a celebratory lunch. We were both so proud of me; it was one of the happiest days of my life,

Two weeks later, Aunt Em died suddenly of a brain aneurysm; she was only thirty-four. The morning of her funeral I was supposed to take my first riding lesson, I was crushed, heartbroken incredulous; it was like a Fall from Paradise. Now, suddenly, I knew at any moment life, happiness, security, safety, and most of all, love, could be snatched away without warning. I refused to go to her funeral; I insisted that she couldn't be dead, that some dreadful mistake had been made.

And the riding lesson? The prize? Finally I had to make my first conscious choice, an act of self-assertion grounded in my own sense of what was right. I took the lesson. I knew in my heart that Em would have approved, but secretly I wondered what kind of wicked girl would go horseback riding on such a sad occasion. With the earnestness that only the young can bring to any serious endeavor, I threw myself into my first lesson. But as soon as it was over and I walked away from the barn, the tears started and in some ways haven't stopped yet.

Later, when I was twelve and just learning to jump, I fell off my horse; I was shaken but not badly injured. I should have gotten back on the horse immediately, but I didn't. The next week's lesson came and went, but I became afraid and never rode again. I never talked about it, just shrugged it off as if I'd lost interest.

Excerpted from SOMETHING MORE, excerpted with permission of the publisher. Published by Warner Books.
Copyright (c) 1998 Sarah Ban Breathnach.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: That Time I Loved You
    That Time I Loved You
    by Carianne Leung
    Carrianne Leung was a Toronto Book Award finalist for That Time I Loved You as well as for her debut...
  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Aeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    American Princess
    by Stephanie Marie Thornton

    Rated 4.9 stars by BookBrowse members - one of the highest scores of all time!
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A People's History of Heaven
    by Mathangi Subramanian

    A story of love and friendship, and fighting for the places we love.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.