Singer, Judy Reene
Singer, Judy Reene
Born in Montgomery, AL; married (divorced); remarried; children: three (first marriage). Hobbies and other interests: Riding horses, animal rescue.
Taught high school English and dressage.
Horseplay (novel), Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Still Life with Elephant (novel), Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Horseplay was adapted for audio CD, read by Karen White, Books on Tape, 2007.
Judy Reene Singer writes about what she loves—horses. On her home page, she notes that this has been her passion since childhood. Although her mother told her that she was born in a bakery, Singer was actually born in an Air Force hospital in Montgomery, Alabama. The family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where she imagined herself to be a horse named Silver Magic, and she and her sister (also a horse) pranced up and down the streets of Brooklyn. When Singer was eleven years old, they moved to the suburbs, where she was able to have riding lessons, and she has been riding ever since.
Singer attended college, taught high school English, and also taught dressage riding. She has broken saddle horses and ridden in Grand Prix dressage events and is also involved in horse and dog rescue projects. On her home page she notes: "But I still spend the majority of my time riding and writing. I can't think of anything else I'd rather do."
Singer's debut novel, Horseplay, is the story of another woman who loves horses and whose name is also Judy. Judy Van Brunt's husband, Marshall, is a three-time philanderer, and Judy has had enough. She quits her job teaching high school English, tells her sister Ruth where she is going, and leaves for North Carolina and the Sankt Mai horse farm of German Olympic trainer Katarina Rheinboldt. Judy lives with three other women in an apartment over the barn. Some, like Judy, are working students, while others are wealthy horsewomen who also have come to learn from Katrina. Judy mucks stalls and cares for brood mares and temporarily becomes involved with Speed Easton, a lawyer who breeds horses. Her attention turns to the horses themselves, however, and she is able to buy one of her own after her husband, who tracks her down, is killed, leaving her with the assets of their marriage. Judy suffers a broken leg when her favorite horse falls on her, which leads to appointments with a handsome orthopedist.
Rashmi Srinivas wrote in a review for the Curled Up with a Good Book Web site that Singer has crafted "a novel chockful of entertainment and successfully manages to cover even the ugliness of reality with rich doses [of] irony and humor." "Lots of galloping plot strands keep this bit of folderol racing along," concluded a Kirkus Reviews contributor. "Chick lit in a horsey setting, this is a fun, fast read," commented Patsy Gray in Library Journal.
Singer followed with Still Life with Elephant, a story that begins with another cheating husband. Cornelia "Neelie" Sterling is the hearing-impaired wife of veterinarian Matt, whose business partner becomes pregnant with Matt's child. Matt has closed their bank accounts and taken a second mortgage on their house, while professing his love for Neelie and trying to convince her that the affair was merely a fling.
Matt is asked by a local animal shelter to go to Africa and rescue an injured elephant, and Neelie is able to go along, and does so, thinking this time together will help him recommit to their marriage. The rescue mission in Zimbabwe is being financed by handsome millionaire Princeton Pennington, who is on the scene to supervise. When they return with mother elephant Margo and her baby, Neelie is faced with a decision. She can take back her husband or become Tom's romantic partner and enjoy the exciting life he has to offer.
A Kirkus Reviews writer concluded a review of this novel by writing: "Singer employs a light comic touch to this engaging second novel sure to appeal to romantics and animal lovers alike."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August 1, 2004, Kristine Huntley, review of Horseplay, p. 1903.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2004, review of Horseplay, p. 657; June 15, 2007, review of Still Life with Elephant.
Library Journal, August 1, 2004, Patsy Gray, review of Horseplay, p. 70.
Publishers Weekly, April 9, 2007, review of Still Life with Elephant, p. 29.
Curled Up with a Good Book,http://www.curledup.com/ (February 20, 2008), Rashmi Srinivas, review of Horseplay.
Judy Reene Singer Home Page,http://www.judyreenesinger.com (February 20, 2008).