Ponytails and Promises


The small Canadian farming community of Regina Beach is home to Emily Lange, who has returned from her agriculture studies in the city to help her mom Alese in the aftermath of her father’s death. It will be their first seeding season without him on land that’s been in their family for more than one hundred years. Keeping Uncle Harold with his worsening dementia safe while they work is an additional challenge. Handywoman, small business owner and Emily’s best friend Raelyn Frazer has the solution: her younger brother Max. He’s a nurse-practitioner who’s just returned to town for some rest and relaxation after years of working in isolated circumstances. What starts as a temporary assignment to help his sister’s friend slowly becomes something more. 

Emily and Max’s story is a vibrant portrayal of respect for generations of families and individuals who work the land. This author honors the struggles and innovative solutions of farmers who battle environmental and technological changes in the fields while dealing with business and personal issues elsewhere. Excessive details about planting procedures and equipment drag down the otherwise steady narrative pace. Descriptions of Regina Beach and its inhabitants provide deeper emotional context and project a believable sense of a dynamic present-day community. A dangling thread concerning threatening hints about a secondary character remains unresolved, but overall, “Ponytails and Promises” delivers an emotionally satisfying, hopeful read about grief, recovery, and moving forward. 

Cardyn Brooks