Amazon 5-star review from an artist and fellow equestrian:
“First rate prize winner! Vivien Gorham has tapped into her own adolescence taking riding lessons on school horses within a barn of high spirited girls and spun a page-turning drama. I rode with Vivien at a barn in Minnesota and as I read her first novel I often smiled at how she wove the stern and tough personality of a trainer with the forgiving and unconditional love from the horses. Vivien is a gifted rider and writer. I recommend this book for anyone who loves horses. Can’t wait to read Vivien’s next novel.” —Allison Leete (October 2017).
Thoughtful words from an accomplished young rider and reader:
“The first thing I noticed and really enjoyed about this novel was how familiar the setting seemed to me, for example a local tack store and horse barn. I have never found this level of realism in ‘horsey’ fiction before. Even though I am a ‘horsey’ person I usually try to avoid books in this genre. I find them cliché and unrealistic as well as very predictable. For example, a girl who has only been riding for a month rescues a wild horse and wins the Olympics…all within a year. Very frustrating! So I was pleasantly surprised that Touch of Gold does not fit that category. All the detail and explanations of all things ‘equine’ not only enable non-horsey people to enjoy a good read but they could learn a lot too. On the other hand I didn’t find it too simplistic. I really enjoyed Jamie’s journey through the teenage years. I felt her character had lots of depth and I could easily relate to her and her friends. Overall I am really glad I read this book, it was beautifully written and a highly enjoyable substitute for algebra in math class.” –Esme, age 14 (December 2015).
Here’s what the National Reading Campaign had to say:
“In her debut YA novel, Touch of Gold, author Vivien Gorham offers readers a thoughtful, moving story of friendship, determination, and courage, exploring the world of competitive horseback riding and the unexpected, yet unbreakable bond between a lonesome young girl and a skinny palomino mare she comes to love and name Peach… Well-paced and engaging, with a relatable protagonist to cheer for, Touch of Gold is a tender coming-of-age story, adeptly celebrating the ups and downs of young love, the joy of animals and the life-affirming companionship they give, and the intoxicating power of taking chances and believing in oneself.” –Jennifer D. Foster (December 2015).
From the Show Ring Ready equestrian blog:
“The main character is the type of independent, goal-oriented teen who will resonate with readers even if she doesn’t always make the wisest decisions. The story is accessibly written to appeal to a wide range of readers while maintaining enough twists to keep things interesting. Vivien Gorham does a very good job of expressing on the page the relationship between a horse and rider or handler, as well as the comfort that horses can provide for us. Each horse has a distinct personality, and many of the different human personalities often present in the horse world are included in the story… [Many] young readers would be delighted to receive a copy of Touch of Gold and delve into Jamie and Peach’s story.” —JumperGroom (December 2015). For the full review, visit ShowRingReady.blogspot.ca.
From Atlantic Books online magazine:
“Touch of Gold by Vivien Gorham is a heartwarming story of a girl and a horse… Jamie is a shy, insecure heroine who finds courage and determination through her passion for horses and riding. Her attempts to make friends with humans are not as successful as her overtures to horses, but she perseveres and by the end of the book she forms some strong attachments and gains a sense of belonging. Children entering the uneasy social scene of early teens will find Jamie’s challenges easy to relate to…[and the story] moves along to an exciting finish.” –Children’s author Charis Cotter (December 2015). For the full review, visit AtlanticBooks.ca.
Goodreads 5-Star Review:
“This a great book about a girl and a horse (enough said?). As a woman who was once a “horse-crazy” girl, I found myself really identifying with the main character. We shared many of the same experiences of falling in love with a horse and learning to ride, which I’m sure are pretty universal and will resonate with anyone who has ever owned or wanted to own a horse. I had warm-fuzzy feelings the entire time I was reading. I highly recommend this book for any “horse-crazy” kids in your life.” —Adora (November 2015). Goodreads.com.
Another Goodreads 5-Star Review:
“LOVE. That is all I can say. I’m speechless.” —Anna, age 11 (January 2017). Goodreads.com.
Another Goodreads 5-Star Review:
“[The stories of Jamie and Peach] were intertwined beautifully throughout the [book]. Gorham [is] masterful at keeping [all the characters] straight for the reader, [and] brilliant at making each easily related to. The descriptions of the horses and well-written scenes made me feel like I was right inside the stables. [T]his being Gorham’s first book, I am eager for her to write many more.” —Author Sarah Butland (January 2016). For the full review, visit Goodreads.com.
Another Goodreads Review:
“I enjoyed reading this narrative and being introduced into the competitive world of show jumping! The story flowed well and the characters were well developed. Courage, determination, problem solving, and the love of an animal will endear any reader to this touching coming-of-age book! A wonderful debut novel by Gorham!
Recommended!!!” —Karen Upper (May 2016). Goodreads.com.
Other comments about Touch of Gold:
“Your book “Touch of Gold” is amazing!!!!! If you ever have the time, you should write a second book! That would be a dream come true. Thank you so much for writing such an amazing book!” —Emma, age 12 (February 2016).
“LOVE! My daughter read it in one evening. Glowing review.” –Shelby, mother of young reader (November 2015).
“[My daughter] took a copy home and has not been able to put this down!! Thinking a 5 star review on it’s way…” –Elizabeth, mother of 14-year-old equestrian (November 2015).
“I loved it! For “Dress Up as Your Favourite Literary Character Day” at school I went as Jamie in Touch of Gold!” –Mahri, age 8 (October 2015).
“I really loved your book! My friend and I had a contest to see who could finish it first.” –Maegwin, age 10 (December 2015).
“It was fantastic!” —Amelia, age 10 (December 2016)
And to find out about Touch of Gold’s journey from idea to published book, read the article:
“First-time novelist strikes gold with a horse story for young people” by Kate Watson, on the online news site Hello Dartmouth (September 2015).