A forty-ton truck hurtles out of control on a snowy country road, a teenage girl on horseback in its path. In a few terrible seconds the life of a family is shattered. And a mother's quest begins--to save her maimed daughter and a horse driven mad by pain. It is an odyssey that will bring her to The Horse Whisperer. He is the stuff of legend. His voice can calm wild horses and his touch heals broken spirits. For secrets uttered softly into pricked and troubled ears, such men were once called Whisperers. Now Tom Booker, the inheritor of this ancient gift, is to meet his greatest challenge. Annie Graves has traveled across a continent with her daughter, Grace, and their wounded horse, Pilgrim, to the Booker ranch in Montana. Annie has risked everything--her career, her marriage, her comfortable life--in her desperate belief that the Whisperer can help them. The accident has turned Pilgrim savage. He is now so demented and dangerous that everyone says he should be destroyed. But Annie won't give up on him, for she feels his fate is inextricably entwined with that of her daughter, who has retreated into a heartrending, hostile silence. Annie knows that if the horse dies, something in Grace will die too. In the weeks to come, under the massive sky of the Rocky Mountain Front, all their lives--including Tom Booker's--will be transformed forever in a way none could have foretold. At once an epic love story and a gripping adventure, The Horse Whisperer weaves an extraordinary tale of healing and redemption--a magnificent emotional journey that explores our ancient bonds with earth and sky and hearts untamed. It is a stirring elegy to the power of belief and self-discovery, to hopes lost and found again.
My issue is not so much with Evans' writing ability as it is his stereotypical treatment of men and women. Indeed, the opening scenes of accident and trauma made me think I had the wrong impression of the story. But, it was all down hill from there. It turned out that Annie and Grace were victims of "my mother works" syndrome. It took removal from the big city and entry into the "aw shucks ma'am" country to bring them fulfillment. The addition of a handsome cowboy in the form of Tom Booker certainly didn't hurt either.
Evans allowed Annie to cry more than once in her journey to fulfillment - despite Annie's criticism of Robert's tears over their daughter's accident. Frankly, I wanted Annie to cry a lot more than she did, and I definitely didn't want her fulfilled. Annie was the main character in the story and I didn't like her at all. She was greedy, manipulative and selfish. Her awfulness might have been tolerable if she had been made to pay it. But Evans extracted no payment at all. Instead, she got everything she wanted. This result made me say "Ugh!" and rejoice when the final cassette was finished.
The writing was top notch, characters sketched with skill and confidence, and I also liked the totally superfluous gag about the girls on the subway discussing the meaning of dreams.
The scene where the horse's treatment reaches its conclusion was curious. Less whispering, more bashing with blunt instruments, and it left a funny taste in my mouth. But I know nothing about horses.
4Q, 4P. Cover Art: Awesome!
The book is best suited for Highschoolers and Adults.
It was selected due to the interesting title.
Grade (of reviewer): 11th
Grace and Judith take their horses out on a snowy New York morning. A collision with a sleep-deprived trucker leaves one pair dead and a girl and horse fighting for their lives. Annie becomes
Yes I know this is chick lit of the greatest degree - ponies, cowboys, "the massive Montana sky"... Skipping right along:
It is very obvious after about page 100 that it is Annie with whom we are supposed to sympathise - this is Annie's story, not Grace's. Grace becomes a truculent, wilful child who is irritating to her mother - instead of the scarred survivor we should see. Annie - well I have no patience with characters who commit adultery, so... I was never going to like her. Evans does convey a very credible character though - she is stressed, trying to do a good job (eventually, just trying to keep her job), doesn't understand why her child is resisting her helpful efforts, feels guilty for not being around more... I didn't really understand her relationship with Robert (Grace's dad) - there is an explanation of how they have got to where they are, but he seemed to just fade out of the picture once Annie and Grace went to Montana.
I quite enjoyed Tom's back-story and his reticence with actual humans, but could I shake the idea that his name was Robert Redford (I saw the film maybe 8 years ago?)? No. As a reviewer on Bookmooch pointed out, this book was written for film - there's pathetic fallacy and dark foreboding everywhere.
As for plot... the accident and the recovery are really a shell into which to tuck Annie and Tom's romance and Annie's reawakening as a country girl (or some sort of pretence thereat). And I don't get on brilliantly with this romance business, so to me it was all just a lot of talking and stuff.
Maybe 4/10 is a bit harsh - it achieves what it sets out to do. I just don't feel emotionally invested in any of the characters, like I did in Love Verb, intrigued by the interpersonal drama like I did in Touching Distance, or blown away by language and situation like in Bel Canto.
I think I was completely misinformed about this book. I expected it to be about horses, but I was mistaken.
There's a very thin plot line that's actually about getting a horse back under control, but for the main part it's just a romance, badly written. I didn't like it, it felt fake,
The plot - if there was any- was unoriginal and not interesting. It took me some time to finish it (I really like to finish my books, I'm always keep the possibility in mind that the story will improve as I continue), but I didn't like the ending either.
This certainly was not a book for me.
Being on the ranch is good for them all but Annie and Tom become intimate and when Grace finds out she recklessly off into the wilderness. Tom, knowing that he cannot have Annie, but neither can he live without her, rides after Annie with his brother. The leader of a herd of wild mustangs challenges Pilgrim and they fight whilst Grace is left cowering in the background. Tom deliberately places himself in harms way, becoming fatally wounded by the hooves of the stallion.
Grace, Annie and Pilgrim return to New York to rebuild their life with Robert who has been told the truth. Annie discovers she is pregnant, finally giving birth to a baby with Tom's blue eyes.
I really liked this book, however I would have rather the author stuck with Grace and Pilgrim's story which would have made a fantastic book for young adults. Instead, Annie and Tom's story takes over which is a shame and feels like it was unnecessary. Would like to see a young adults version come out focused on Grace, Pilgrim and more of the techniques used by a 'horse whisperer'.
His name is Tom Booker. His voice can calm wild horses, his touch can heal broken spirits. And Annie Graves has traveled across a continent to the Booker ranch in Montana, desperate to heal