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Horse Heavenby Jane Smiley
Synopses & Reviews
Spanning two years on the circuit, from Kentucky and California to New York and Paris, Horse Heaven puts us among trainers and track brats, horse-obsessed girls, nervy jockeys, billionaire owners and restless wives. Here is the trainer of dazzling integrity and his opposite: a wicked prince of the tract, headed for still another swindle; here are the gamblers and hangers-on. And in an amazing feat of imagination, here are the magnificent Thoroughbreds themselves, from the filly orphaned at birth to the brown horse who always wins by a nose, a lovable "claimer" who passes from owner to owner on a heartwrenching journey down from the winner's circle.
All the constant excitement of racing courses through a novel that opens up a fascinating world even as it moves us with its exploration of wanting, loving, and striving; of our mysterious bond with animals; and, above all, of our profound desire to connect — emotionally, sexually, spiritually — with each other.
"Fans of A Thousand Acres may feel that Smiley has deserted the realm of serious literature for suspense and romance, but this highly readable novel shows that she can perform in both genres." Publishers Weekly
"There's a benign deity at the helm in Smiley's world. Her final chapters have a wonderful restorative quality, filled with grace notes and epiphanies that offer a fitting close to this smart, warmhearted, winning book." New York Times Book Review
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK
"A WISE, SPIRITED NOVEL . . . [IN WHICH] SMILEY PLUMBS THE WONDROUSLY
STRANGE WORLD OF HORSE RACING." --People
"ONE OF THE PREMIER NOVELISTS OF HER GENERATION, possessed of a mastery
of craft and an uncompromising vision that grow more powerful with each
book . . . Racing's eclectic mix of classes and personalities provides
Smiley with fertile soil . . . Expertly juggling storylines, she
investigates the sexual, social, psychological, and spiritual problems
of wealthy owners, working-class bettors, trainers on the edge of
financial ruin, and, in a typically bold move, horses."
--The Washington Post
"A NOVEL OF PASSION IN EVERY SENSE . . . [SHE DOES] IT ALL WITH APLOMB .
. . WITH A DEMON NARRATIVE INTELLIGENCE."
--The Boston Sunday Globe
"WITTY, ENERGETIC . . . It's deeply satisfying to read a work of fiction
so informed about its subject and so alive to every nuance and detail .
. . [Smiley's] final chapters have a wonderful restorative quality."
--The New York Times Book Review
"RICHLY DETAILED, INGENIOUSLY CONSTRUCTED . . . YOU WILL REVEL IN JANE
SMILEY'S HORSE HEAVEN."
--San Diego Union-Tribune
Chosen by the Los Angeles Times as One of the Best Books of the Year
About the Author
Jane Smiley is the author of nine previous works of fiction, including The Age of Grief, The Greenlanders, Ordinary Love and Good Will, A Thousand Acres, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and Moo. She lives in northern California.
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