Biography

Brooke, Lauren

Lauren Brooke does not exist; she is a publisher’s construct. Two series have been produced under the name: Heartland and Chestnut Hill. The initial idea for the books came from a British author, Linda Chapman, who originally set the series in Cheshire, England. When an American publisher picked Heartland up, the location was changed to Virginia, USA. Most of the books were written by Linda , and fellow British author Gill Harvey, with the remainder by Elisabeth Faith.

The Heartland series is set at an American horse sanctuary run by teenager Amy Fleming, her grandfather, sister and boyfriend. Amy is a realistic teenager, if immensely talented at time management (not only does she heal horses, and help run the family business, she gets through school and has a relationship). The series relies heavily on modern theories of re-schooling, like Monty Roberts’ join-up and Linda Tellington’s T-touch. More traditional methods of re-schooling don’t tend to be looked on particularly positively.

The series starts in tragedy, when Amy’s mother is killed, and progresses through 20 titles and five special editions until Amy is in vet school. The series has been immensely popular, and is still in print. CBC have made a television series called Heartland.

Having installed Amy at vet school, Lauren Brooke then produced a new series: Chestnut Hill. Linda Chapman and Gill Harvey are no longer responsible, with Catherine Hapka joining Elisabeth Faith as series authors. Chestnut Hill revolves around a quartet of heroines, who go to an incredibly well equipped American boarding school, where riding is very much on the curriculum. The emphasis is different to Heartland’s; boys certainly feature, but in a less serious way. Shopping, however, is much more important.The series lack the emotional pull of Amy and her tragic situation, and its concentration on material possessions begins, after you have read several titles, to seem cynical. Chestnut Hill appears to have stopped at twelve titles; it doesn’t seem to have been as popular as Heartland.

There have been no further titles under the Lauren Brooke name. Although the publishers had a Lauren Brooke site, with biographical details, these were just as much a story as the books. Scholastic now appear to have dropped the site; an 'interview' with the author also appears to have disappeared from the net.

Finding the books
All are still in print, and are readily available on the secondhand market.

Links and sources
Conversations with Linda Chapman
More on Linda Chapman and her books
My review of Heartland
My review of Chestnut Hill
A Lauren Brooke fansite
The CBC television series

Bibliography
Coming Home, Scholastic, London, 2000, 134 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
After the Storm, Scholastic, London, 2000, 158 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
Breaking Free, Scholastic, London, 2000, 135 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
Taking Chances, Scholastic, London, 2001, 157 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
Come What May, Scholastic, London, 2001, 150 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
One Day You’ll Know, Scholastic, London, 2001, 179 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
Out of the Darkness, Scholastic, London, 2001. 144 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Thicker than Water, Scholastic, London, 2002, 170 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
Every New Day, Scholastic, London, 2002, 137 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Tomorrow’s Promise, Scholastic, London, 2003, 158 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
True Enough, Scholastic, London, 2003, 150 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Sooner or Later, Scholastic, London, 2003, 137 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
Darkest Hour, Scholastic, London, 2003, 137 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Everything Changes, Scholastic, London, 2004, 140 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Love is a Gift, Scholastic, London, 2004, 142 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Holding Fast, Scholastic, London, 2004, 2004 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
A Season of Hope, Scholastic, London, 2004, 143 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
New Beginnings, Scholastic, London, 2004, 141 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Winter Memories, Heartland Special: Scholastic, London, 2004, 173 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
From This Day On, Scholastic, London, 2005, 143 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Always There, Scholastic, London, 2005, 152 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
Amy's Journal, Heartland Special: Scholastic, London, 2006, 113 pp.
Written by Linda Chapman
The New Class, Scholastic, London, 2006, 208 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Making Strides, Scholastic, London, 2006, 202 pp
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Heart of Gold, Scholastic, London, 2006, 201 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Playing for Keeps, Scholastic, London, 2007, 185 pp.
Written by Catherine Hapka
Beyond the Horizon, Heartland Special: Scholastic, London, 2007, 171 pp.
Team Spirit, Scholastic, London, 2007, 163 pp.
Reprinted in the USA as The Scheme Team
Written by Catherine Hapka
All or Nothing, Scholastic, London, 2007, 176 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Winter's Gift, Heartland Special: Scholastic, London, 2008, 204 pp.
Written by Gill Harvey
A Summer to Remember, Scholastic, London, 2008, 224 pp.
A Time to Remember, Scholastic, London, 2008, 166 pp.
Chasing Dreams, Scholastic London, 2008, 169 pp.
Written by Elisabeth Faith
Helping Hands, Scholastic, London, 2008, 171 pp
Racing Hearts, Scholastic, London, 2009, 169 pp.
A Chance to Shine, Scholastic, London, 2009, 192 pp.
Far and Away, Scholastic, London, 2010, 170 pp.

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