Horse (Book Review)

Horse (Book Review)

Horse book review

I have enjoyed historical fiction books by Pulitzer Prize winning author Geraldine Brooks in the past (for example see here), but I think this one is by far her best. There are many parallels in it that I found fascinating.

It is about both horse races and racism, and bounces between the Civil War era to the present day and back rather seamlessly, once you get into it.  At the start, it took a while to get into it, and then it was like a racehorse speeding incontrovertibly to the finish line.

Here are my two favorite quotes from the book:

  • “‘You know there’s a silver lining to this,’ Barry said, ‘You have to know that bigots are unwittingly handing you an edge. By thinking you’re lesser than they are, the underestimate you. Lean into that. Learn how to use it, and you’ll get the upper hand.'”
  • “‘If God has a mission for you on Earth,’ she told him, ‘he will preserve you to fulfill it.'”

The writing and vocabulary were brilliant here, with unique, well-honed characters that really stood out clearly. Most were exemplary, and you find yourself rooting for both the horse and the people. Additionally, the history here is well researched and largely accurate, with a bit of imagination thrown in to glue it together. Also happily for me, there were painters in the story, both ones with recognizable names and otherwise, and the thread of paintings and their whereabouts moved the story along.

One is struck reading this, how for we haven’t come since the Civil War; our times now seem very similar in a way. I give Horse a rousing 5 stars and encourage you to read it.


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Anne T 4 months ago

    Yes, loved this book! Geraldine Brooks is a favorite author of mine.

  2. Liz 4 months ago

    I just picked up this book in a little library. On my “to read” pile!! Thx for the review. ❤️

  3. janell fiarman 4 months ago

    Really enjoyed reading this, though I found the ending abrupt. Loved the theme of connecting unknown and known parts — like a mystery. I have persuaded my book group to read it next.

    • Author
      Polly Castor 4 months ago

      My book group had a WONDERFUL discussion about it.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Send this to friend