Review: The Enchanted By Charlotte Bingham

Posted on: 01 September 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

One of the 50connect bookworms reviews Charlotte Bingham's The Enchanted.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading the book but as it is written by the highly acclaimed Charlotte Bingham, I knew it would be spellbinding.

It is a beautifully crafted story, capturing the spirit and essence of the horse racing fraternity, including the rogue elements of the sport and triumph over adversity.  The tale is interwoven with mysticism and folklore as only the Irish would know how - and it is clear that we could all benefit from being looked after by the generous sea-spirits, caring for us ‘lost souls’ who need a helping hand.

Pure ‘Father Ted’ in the first couple of chapters, including the character Eammon, pronounced Yamon - and his hilarious antics acting as chauffeur to the Rawlins.

I particularly loved the way the invisible thread of the ‘knowing’ horse intricately drew in, and saved and salved so many people.  It was heart-breaking when he was powerless to save his beloved horse friend Finoula on their horrendous journey ‘across the wather’.

This mystical, magical horse brings life and love to an ailing business and an assortment of characters, whom at first are a little lack-lustre, with the reader needing to ‘gallop’ through their part of their story.  Later though, they come in to their own and you can't help but admire them and delight in their good fortune.

Nothing much improves for Millie, but she had a contented life carved out for herself.  Caring and nurturing her friend is her mission.

The romantic element was played down for the main characters, Rory and Kathleen, but thankfully got off the ground at the last fence. 

As the story develops you can feel the frisson of tension leading up to the race days, and on the day itself, almost imagining yourself at the Gold Cup.  Even the elevated position of being in the saddle as Blaze Molloy - feeling the magic unfold under your finger tips, made me feel I was there.

I have to admit to having goose bumps a couple of times during the read, especially when Anthony Rawlins rallied on Boyo’s first race day, and felt the book come alive as the characters were one by one touched by the magic of the sensitive horse and the ‘powers under the sea’.

The true spirit and magic of The Enchanted is 'unbridled’, an excellent read for both romantics and horse lovers alike. 

Book Review by L.C.

You can purchase The Enchanted by Charlotte Bingham for £6.99 from all good bookshops.  Alternatively you can purchase it from Amazon for £4.89.

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