Simply magnificent! Deftly weaving together several interconnected stories and characters, “Horse” tells the fictionalized story of the real-life thoroughbred Lexington, one of the greatest race horses of all time.
As a lifelong rider, I was completely entranced by this story. I was once obsessed with racing, and as a young girl followed the career of the legendary Secretariat. Now I see the often cruel sport in a new light, and as well the author brilliantly explores the duality of thoroughbred horse racing.
Told from several different points of view, the story focuses mainly on the young slave Jarret who cares for Lexington for the horse’s entire life. The cruel horrors of slavery are not glossed over and sadly, racism plays a central role in the book’s current timeline as well.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I listed to the audiobook which features a very gifted cast of narrators. You don’t need to be a horse lover to appreciate this incredible work of historical fiction!
“𝘕𝘰𝘵 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 ‘𝘩𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦’, 𝘛𝘏𝘌 𝘏𝘰𝘳𝘴𝘦.”
About the Book:
A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history
Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.
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