This is the first book I've read by Anne McCaffrey.
Well...not really a book. It's more of a short story.
If Wishes Were Horses is about a twin brother and sister nearing adulthood. It's about war, and how people pull together to make the most of things. It's about the strength of women, and the power of humans to adapt and survive despite the challenges that life throws at us. But mostly, it's about growing up.
The story itself isn't very character based. You have your main cast, yes, but the story is more about the town surviving through the war, and how they get through each problem that gets thrown at them. And wishing for a horse for Tracell.
There were a few unanswered questions left at the end, but they're not so big as to ruin the entire story. I would have loved to read more about the crystals the women wear, and how exactly they work. Some sort of magic is implied, but an actual explanation of what they are and what they do is pushed off "till later". But I figure, if your story leaves people wanting more, you've done your job well.
This was a very fast read. The book is under 100 pages. It took me maybe forty-five minutes to read the entire thing.
The story definitely left me interested in reading more by Anne McCaffrey.
And of course, I simply adore nursery rhymes.
"If wishes were horses then beggars would ride,
If turnips were swords I'd have one by my side.
If 'ifs' and hands were pots and pans
There would be no need for tinker hands."