lesley kagen Lesley on Facebook
lesley kagen
lesley books book clubs news contact


Mare's Nest

"The last thing in the world I wanted was for my daughter to climb onto the back of a horse. Riding is dangerous. Not only physically, but fiscally. Most of all...emotionally. I had the scars to prove it."

nnie Bellamy is a woman struggling to come to terms with her painful past. In her daughter, Teddy, she sees the opportunity for redemption. The chance to balance the scales by giving her girl the support and nurturance she feels she didn't receive from her own mother. What Annie didn't plan on was Teddy falling head-over-heels in love with horses the same way she had as a youngster. The buying, selling, and showing of horses had led to the bankruptcy and break-up of her family, and perhaps, her mother's death. Annie vows not to allow history to repeat itself. Yet, Teddy's persistence and talent are not easily denied.

Torn between her distressing childhood and her daughter's passion, concerned about how the astronomical cost of the sport will impact her son and husband, Annie embarks on a journey through the horse world, where she and Teddy are swept up in a "saddle soap opera" that she couldn't have imagined. Crooked trainers, ruthless barn owners, and viciously competitive show moms lie in wait for the unsuspecting twosome. Too late, Annie realizes that her pursuit to make her daughter's dreams come true will end up mirroring her own troubled past unless she finds the courage to stand up to her demons.

Good Graces

Based on a true story, MARE'S NEST is a wrenchingly funny, poignant, and ultimately uplifting tale about mothers and daughters, horses, and the redemptive power of love.

Read an excerpt
Check out the discussion questions (PDF)


Buy the ebook!
Barnes & Noble

Buy the trade paperback!
Saturn Booksellers
Books & Company
The Book Vault
Book Heads



  Check out these READER REVIEWS!

"From page one, Mare's Nest reached out and grabbed me. A true-to-life tale that is artful and lovely and smart."
   —Lauren Fox, bestselling author of FRIENDS LIKE US

"Mare's Nest is a fascinating and heartfelt look at the intricacies of the mother-daughter bond, along with that often inexplicable, yet oh-so-powerful girl/horse obsession. I couldn't put it down and neither will you."
   —Theresa Weir, national bestselling author of THE ORCHARD

"Knowing that Mare's Nest is a story largely drawn from Kagen's own experience makes the reading of it all the more fascinating for the glimpse it gives us into the life of one of our favorite novelists."
   —Jill Miner, Owner, Saturn Booksellers

"Mare's Nest is a universal story about a parent's undying love for their child. With Kagen's brilliant voice and great dialogue, you find yourself once again engrossed in an amazing and well-written story. A 5 star novel."
   —Mrs. Mommy Booknerd, Book blogger and reviewer