The horse whisperer, Nicholas Evans The Horse Whisperer is a 1995 novel by English author Nicholas Evans The book was his debut novel, and gained significant success, becoming the 10th best selling novel in the United States in 1995, selling over 15 million copies This also makes it one of the best selling books of all time.The novel starts in upstate New York where a teenage girl, Grace Maclean, and her friend, Judith, go riding on their horses, Pilgrim and Gulliver, on a snowy morning As they ride up an icy slope, Gulliver slips and hits Pilgrim Both horses fall, dragging the girls onto a road and into a collision with an eighteen wheeler Judith and Gulliver are killed, while Grace and Pilgrim are severely injured Grace, left with a partially amputated right leg, is bitter and withdrawn Grace s mother, Annie, is a workaholic magazine editor, and her father, Robert, is a lawyer The different approaches taken by each of Grace s parents in dealing with the accident strain relationships within the family Following the accident, Pilgrim is traumatised and uncontrollable, leading the people looking after him to treat him badly and to suggest that he be put down Annie refuses to allow her horse to be put down and hears of a horse whisperer , Tom Booker She undertakes a long cross country journey with Pilgrim and Grace to Montana On the Montana ranch, Tom works with Pilgrim and starts to make progress Both Grace and Annie become happier because the ranch life suits them During the stay, Annie and Tom become close and eventually begin an affair Despite the progress that Tom has made with Pilgrim, Grace is still unable to ride the horse Tom attempts a drastic intervention by forcing the horse to lie down and having Grace stand on him This technique works and horse and rider are reunited At the party marking the end of Grace s and Annie s stay in Montana, Grace finds out about the affair, and she rides recklessly into the countryside Grace unintentionally rides into a herd of wild mustangs that begin a stampede Tom rides after her and finds Pilgrim fighting with the mustang stallion Tom manages to save Grace and Pilgrim, but then deliberately gets himself fatally trampled by the stallion, perhaps because he feels guilty about hurting Grace by having an affair with her mother Grace, Annie, and Pilgrim return to New York to rebuild their lives with Robert, but Annie discovers she is pregnant and eventually gives birth to a baby with Tom s blue eyes 1999 1377 359 9647497237 20 1381 111 9647497237 20 1377 This is your classic page turner and bestseller Cliched, predictable both in terms of plot and characters Uninspiring rehashing of themes like overcoming tragedy and adversity the contrast between the ruthless, stress filled corporate environment and the simpler, idealised fulfillment found in a ranching farming life New York magazine editor supermom just has to go over to Wyoming to find meaning and of course end up the arms of our well muscled, handsome cowboy with his homespun philosophy and wisdom The sad fact is that I, along with millions of other people not only bought the book but consumed it not read but consumed and in one four and half hour sitting no less If you have a copy, do yourself a favour save the time and dump the book now, before you too fall prey to this hogwash. There was death at its beginning as there would be death again at its end Though whether it was some fleeting shadow of this that passed across the girl s dreams and woke her on that least likely of mornings she would never know All she knew, when she opened her eyes, was that the world was somehow altered There was snow The first fall of winter And from the laterals of the fence up by the pond she could tell there must be almost a foot of it With no deflecting wind, it was perfect and driftless When Grace and Pilgrim, her horse, end up riding with her friend and her friend s horse, on this morning of first snow, two will return damaged, and two lives are lost Grace s life is physically forever altered, and Pilgrim s as well, but the physical is easier to see and make plans to manage The mental and emotional toll is harder to see and treat Grace s mother, Annie, is determined to control and fix the situation To her mind Grace will never truly return to her former self until and unless Pilgrim is also healed She can t rest until she finds a way, which ultimately leads to a discovery that there are men and some women although few of them who can soothe these wounded animalsFor secrets uttered softly into priced and troubled ears, these men were known as Whisperers And so Annie sets out to find, and then convince Tom Booker, a horse whisperer, to help Pilgrim, and by extension help Grace It takes than a little convincing, but she is not a woman who is used to, or willing, to taking no for an answer I loved the setting of this story, I loved Booker s view of boiling things down to the essentials of life, and how easy that seemed I saw the movie many years ago, and loved it, as well, but I no longer remember the details of the movie, only that Robert Redford was the horse whispererThere were such moments, he knew, when the world chose thus to reveal itself not, as it might seem, to mock our plight or our irrelevance but simply to affirm, for us and for all life, the very act of being There is, within this story, a love story, although there are several individual stories which are about love in its many forms A mother s fierce, protective love for her child A father s tender, devoted love for his child A man s love that allows him to let go of those he loves for what he sees as their sake A girl s love for her horse that becomes a burden that she carries with her, unable to see anything but that moment, that day, and the damage to this splendid creature A man s love so great that he would risk all to protect those he lovesAnd she thought, but didn t say, what a perilous commodity love was and that the proper calibration of its giving and taking was too precise by far for mere humans Many thanks to my goodreads friend, Mischenko, whose review prompted me to move this one up I was sucked in for almost the entire book, I have to say Loved both the jilted academic husband and the sensitive, manly cowboy horse guru But the ending was so ridiculously bizarre that it ruined the whole thing for me Am I just a terrible cynic This book would have gotten one star, except for the fact that I actually enjoyed reading about the slow, tandem recovery of the horse and his rider What I DIDN T enjoy was the main character, Annie I can honestly say I disliked her intensely She drags her family along by the nose, so certain that EVERYTHING SHE DOES is the best solution for everything, and the fact that the author makes her decisions work somehow makes the character even irritating She comes across as self centered, concerned with fixing her daughter and her horse than actually caring for them Okay, that last bit probably isn t fair it s been a while since I read the book, so I may be remembering my annoyance with the character than the character herself Regardless, she runs roughshod over everyone, and then seems willing to throw it all away for someone who struck me as a male fantasy about a female s fantasy version of the ultimate sensitive guy And then The ending Oh dear, the ending I can t believe Annie s family was even speaking to her at that point, but again, she seemed to believe that everyone was just going to go along with what SHE really wanted anyway My sister says the movie is MUCH better It would have to be. I don t know about others but writing the review of The Horse Whisperer has proved to be immensely difficult What I m writing here is a review about a book that couldn t have been written any better Nicholas Evans spins a heart wrenching epic love story that thrives and dies amid sorrow and pain Tom Booker comes as a healer to a family in grief and heals the wounds that have gone deep into the very souls Buy it, borrow it or steal it But don t miss this gem for anything Sometimes what seems like surrender isn t surrender at all It s about what s going on in our hearts About seeing clearly the way life is and accepting it and being true to it, whatever the pain, because the pain of not being true to it is far, far greater.
- The Horse Whisperer
- Nicholas Evans
- 10 January 2017 Nicholas Evans