by: Geraldine Brooks
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.
Helen says: 🤓🤓🤓🤓 1/2
This was our highbrow read of the month! This was a long book and not easy to plow through. I think it was definitely the best book we have read all year with the exception of The Lincoln Highway. After reading a bunch of vapid page turners (such as Verity– ha!), it was nice to return to such a well-written book. It gets a little political in the end, but just go with it. It’s a novel after all. 😉
My favorite book of the month. I think Geraldine Brooks is a wonderful author – this makes me want to go back and read her books that I have missed So, this is technically historical fiction also (3 in one month!), but this one really did not bother me – maybe because I was not actually familiar with any of the main characters. This is a very moving story, and maybe there is a little too much thrown into one novel, but the end result is a really great read. The book travels in time from the mid-1800’s to almost current day. The star of the book is the wonderful horse Darley/Lexington – and his devoted and faithful companion, Jarrett. You will love them. This is an excellent read!