There were well over half a dozen main characters, but probably the two most closely followed by the author were Carrie—a ten year old girl who has to move to Nevada from New Jersey because of a divorce, and Milla—mother-less daughter of Devon, who takes care of wild horses after they are rounded up. Carrie and Milla become friends as the story takes a magical turn involving the Calico Mountains, quilts, meditation, Calico Horses, and these random squares of calico that seemingly fall from the sky. Sam(antha) and her cat, Max, are housing Carrie and her mother—Brenda—because Brenda and Sam were best friends in college and Sam wants to help them out. Milla is a talented artist and she discovers her inner talent, while Carrie has strange dreams and visions during her morning meditation that later help her realize her true meaning in life - to help horses.
This book was packed full of surprises, action, and MANY main characters. While it did get complicated at times, as this was a 300 page book, there was time to get associated with all the characters. My favorite was Sam, because she reminded me of a Sam in real life who also likes cats. I thought it kind of, well, I think ironic is the word for it, because I only recently met this Sam, and very soon after that I began reading this book involving a similar Sam, and, personally, I thought it funny. The author didn't know as much about horses as she might have needed to, but I still found it be interesting and hard to pull myself away from. I was determined from about page seventy that Devon and Brenda would get married, but you'll have to find out about that for yourself.
The Sam in the book is funny and sarcastic, and she owns a cat, named Max (who was previously mentioned in the summary). She meditates daily to "find her inner spirit," and that's where my favoritism ended. Though there was nothing truly offensive, I observed subtle hints of an anti-Christian attitude.
I would recommend this book for kids nine to thirteen, though an advanced eight-year-old might enjoy it, as well. Animal lovers, especially people who like a little magic woven into their books, are also likely readers.