Troon is a Canadian author who has enjoyed tremendous success writing for a young readership in her native country. Her new novel is COLD FREEDOM.
Imagine this: A teenage girl and her beautiful purebred horse; the coldest winter of the twentieth century; a brutal invading army; a massive exodus of refugees. This combination of events is historical fact although the MS based upon it is fiction.
Eva is just thirteen, and her mare is a Trakehner. The place is Prussia; the time is winter 1945 – and the temperature is thirty degrees below zero. Men young and old are away fighting, and meanwhile the women and children face death from the Red Army. To escape, many thousands trek westwards with their horses – unbelievably, some will walk for eight hundred miles. The true stories of their courage and suffering have been neglected in WW II literature.
The horses that the refugees bring with them are the famous Trakehner, a breed unique to Prussia for hundreds of years. The horses walk carrying unborn foals, their shoes falling off, their feed rations running out, their legs injured by shrapnel. Only the toughest survive.
Eva, along with her siblings and her mother, will trek westwards with their precious horses for several months. They will survive strafing by bomber planes, frostbite, a mad flight across Baltic sea ice, hunger, and typhus, before arriving safely in Allied-held western Germany. Here they can begin a new life, for their homeland of Prussia will ‘disappear’ behind the Iron Curtain and they will never return.
Aimed at readers age 9 to 12 years, COLD FREEDOM is exciting historical fiction based upon extensive research. It combines the ever-popular ‘horse and girl’ plot with a little-known historical event. It is utterly compelling.