Abby Lovitt has always been more at ease with horses than with people. Her father insists they call all the mares "Jewel" and all the geldings "George" and warns Abby not to get attached: the horses are there to be sold. But with all the stress at school (the Big Four have turned against Abby and her friends) and home (her brother Danny is gone-for good, it seems-and now Daddy won't speak his name), Abby seeks refuge with the Georges and the Jewels. But there's one gelding on her family's farm that gives her no end of trouble: the horse who won't meet her gaze, the horse who bucks her right off every chance he gets, the horse her father makes her ride and train, every day. She calls him the Ornery George.
Jane Smiley was born in Los Angeles and grew up in St Louis, Missouri. In 1992 she won the Pulitzer Prize for A Thousand Acres, for which she also won the National Book Critics' Circle Award. Her other novels include Moo (1995), Horse Heaven (2000), which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize, Good Faith (2003) and Ten Days in the Hills (2007). Her most recent novel is Private Life (2010). In 2006 Jane Smiley was awarded the PEN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.