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A summer spent in a rented house while Gail Simmons waited for school to start, started out normal, looking through the attic of the old coach house, Gail found a trunk with a side saddle and riding habit. She was a good horseback rider, her and Candy (short for Candlelight) had even won awards together but she had never ridden sidesaddle so the dusty saddle interested her. Spending her afternoons on Candy, riding in the orchard, she found a gate in the old stone wall, they went through and followed a path and were surprised to see a summerhouse (gazebo type building) on the other side (Babylon). The girl, Hilary was there, drinking lemonade and dressed differently than Gail was. Through out the summer, the two girls became friends and together they taught Gail how to ride sidesaddle and drive a pony cart. The whole time, Gail knew there was something so different about their friendship, she just was not sure and in the end, the time difference was so much more than the ride through the simple woods.
Fun and easy read, short chapters, the concept of time is subtle only pointed out by the differences between dress style, transportation forms, and several words. The girls become friends with several similar interests including the love of horses, riding, and being outside in the summer. The ending is sad and in some ways incomplete, what happened to Hilary, how bad was she hurt, who put the trunk back in the attic. Good read aloud story.
"How many miles to Babylon? Three score miles and ten. Can I get there by candlelight? Yes, and back again. If your heels are nimble and light. You can get there by candlelight." - Mother Goose
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