A long time ago I watched the movie The Horse Whisperer. My reasons for watching it? Scarlett Johansson and horses. I didn’t read the book, upon which it was based, though.
On another note, choosing a bestseller for this challenge proved hard for me. I mean, there are a few ways I choose books to read, but following the bestseller lists is not one of them. Fortunately, good old Wikipedia provides its readers with lists of best-selling books of all time for each year. So Bam! I had my bestseller for the challenge. Scarlett Johansson wasn’t in it, obviously, but the horses were!
So, one snowy morning in the state of New York, two girls take their horses for a ride. Unfortunately, one of them is caught up on shaky ice, and while the other tries to save her, a big truck hits the two of them. One of the girls and her horse die. The other girl, Grace, survives. So does her horse – by miracle and with a help of a stubborn veterinarian. Both the girl and the horse, Pilgrim, are physically and mentally shattered; the horse is out-of-control and the girl is deeply depressed. Despite everyone’s advices, Annie, Grace’s mother, is determined to find a cure for the horse. And she does that – in the form of Tom Booker, a horse whisperer. She takes her reluctant daughter and her crazed horse to Montana, and thus a long process of healing begins.
Let me say it right now. I loved this book. I know, I know. It have infidelity in it; a cheap, predictable romance, that is – in my opinion – completely not needed. It also is about a character that undergoes a thorough change through her relatively short stay among nature, “simpler life.” I personally am getting tired of movies/books that deal with this subject. Materialistic world – bad, nature – good. Yeah, we know. So what? Not everyone can abandon their lives in the cities, and not everyone would want to. Abandon museums? Cinemas? Theatres? What’s so wrong with that? Its culture, for Pete’s sake.
But I digress .
So, why I liked this book so much? First, the characters, that were full-flashed and well-written. I didn’t remember Grace’s dad from the movie at all, here Nicholas Evans made me feel sorry for him and I acknowledged and appreciated that he was a really good guy. Who basically got screwed over. Another thing about characters – each got a backstory. There was even a backstory to the driver of the truck that hit the girls.
The other thing was the writing itself, which was superb. And the topic of horses. The care, the love, the passion for horses, that emerged from almost every page. Also, the story itself. Overcoming trauma may be a subject that’s been overused, but I don’t care. The Horse Whisperer is one of the best – in my opinion – on the subject. It has deep emotions, allows for grief and anger, but it also gives hope and teaches courage. What more could I want?
And fortunately, the romance thread didn’t take as much space as I feared it would, so that’s definitely a plus.
Overall, despite two minor concerns, I believe this is a position really worth reading.
Especially if you like horses.