The Payne family is a true facing family, with their father making his living as trainer. All the children were involved in the care of the horses, learning the ropes as soon as they were old enough to undertake the myriad of tasks involved. Along with her next in age brother Stevie, who has Down Syndrome, Michelle spent her early years in and around the stables, but it wasn't all work. There was plenty of time for play too and Michelle speaks fondly of her childhood, even though an outside observer might see it as unusual or even tough upbringing.
What I liked most about this book was the upbeat and positive tone. Some could look at Michelle's life and consider her unlucky to have lost her mother so young and a sister not too many years later. Yet she does not dwell on these tragedies, focusing instead on going forward in life and celebrating the experience of life in a large family. Her love and respect for her brother Stevie is inspiring and her general outlook on life proves that attitude really is everything.