Synopses & Reviews
A poignant, “engrossing” (Kirkus Reviews), “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly) memoir of a charismatic feral mare named True Colors who changed everyone she met, equine and human--especially her devoted owner.
When Jana Harris moved with her husband to Washington State for a teaching job, she wanted to fulfill her lifelong dream of having a horse farm. Harris knew she’d found the horse on whom she could build her dreams the minute she saw her on a ranch in the Eastern Mountains where a herd had been corralled to be sold. Something about the way the mare guarded her handsome foal, a black two-month-old colt, spoke to Harris. The mare was named True Colors.
But when True Colors was delivered to Harris’s ranch three months later, she was unrecognizable. She had gone feral, run away, and been recaptured. Terrified of people, she had infected sores on her head and wheezed with smoke-induced pneumonia. The traumatized horse existed between two worlds—wild and domesticated—and belonged to neither. But there were glimmers of hope: The other horses fell in love with her on sight, just as Harris had. Eventually, True Colors would change the lives of everyone she encountered, animal and human. She is now thirty-four years old.
Horses Never Lie About Love is the story of this remarkable horse and the revelations about life and love that she taught Harris over the course of their decades together.
"I lost track of all time and space once I opened this incisive, eloquent, sometimes lyrical, sometimes comic book. The story of True Colors and the raising up and training of her foals mesmerized me. Harris's memoir won my heart."
-- Maxine Kumin, Poet Laureate, 1981-1982
“Most horse books are practical, but a surprisingly large proportion of the literature focuses on the spiritual relationship between horses and women. Jana Harris’s inspiring memoir about her relationship with True Colors, a Thoroughbred mare whose problems are offset by her success as a broodmare, explores the psychological aspect of their bond, but what sets this book apart from the others is that the author also provides an enormous amount of practical information about her education in the art of raising horses. We struggle right alongside her as she copes with serious medical and behavioral issues and we share her joy in welcoming each new foal. The author has succeeded in making the reader part of her dream, and this is a remarkable accomplishment.”
-- Barbara Burn, author of The Horseless Rider and 101 Dressage Tips and co-author of The Whole Horse Catalog.
"I could not put down this engrossing, beautiful book and savored every page. Harris’s writing is so delicious that I could feel the country breeze, smell the hay, and hear the horses nickering. Her characters are so real and colorful that you’ll be captivated immediately. Each animal has a unique personality, likes, and dislikes. This book is a treasure, to be re-read over and over again. A lovely, delightful experience."
--Stacey O’Brien, author of Wesley the Owl
“With lyrical writing and a gift for drawing in the reader from the first sentence, Jana Harris has created a memoir that any equine-enthusiast would devour and any reader unfamiliar with horses would find identifiable. The love Harris has for horses is palpable on the page and every chapter made me fall in love with her memorable horses and their incredible story.”
--Jessica Burkhart, author of the Canterwood Crest series
"I fell in love, page after page, with Jana Harris' horses and the rough landscape where she raises them, following with her the pain, doubts, and joys of tending them, not unlike what I experienced with the pigs and goats that I once tended."
-- Georgeanne Brennan, author of A Pig in Provence
“What a beautiful book Jana Harris has written about the horses--remarkably individual, lovingly described and given life by her incandescent prose--that have entered her life! Horses Never Lie about Love
is also an intimate portrait of a marriage--the story of Jana and Mark and their family of horses through the years. It's a tender book, often a funny book; sad, heartrending, uplifting, exuberant and suffused with hope.”
-- Joyce Carol Oates
"A romantic exploration of horse ownership. [A] tense psychological dance between owner and horse, as Harris tried to solve the mystery of healing and training this massive animal. In engrossing detail, Harris describes the physical challenges of horse raising." --andlt;iandgt;Kirkusandlt;/iandgt;
The heartwarming true story of a woman and the horse who changed her life.andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Jana Harris had always dreamed of having a horse farm, and she knew the horse on whom she could build her dreams the moment she saw her on a ranch in the Eastern Mountains of Washington State, where a herd had been corralled to be sold: a beautiful, deep dark red-colored mare standing about sixteen hands, with a white star on her pretty head. Something about the way this mare guarded her handsome foal spoke to Harris. The mare was named True Colors. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;When True Colors was delivered to Harrisand#8217;s ranch three months later, however, she was unrecognizable: head-shy from the infected sores on her face, and lungs damaged by pneumonia, she sensed demons hiding in everything from the scent of fabric softener on clothes to a gate in a fence. This injured, traumatized horse existed between two worldsand#8212;wild and domesticatedand#8212;and belonged to neither. andlt;BRandgt;andlt;BRandgt;Remarkably, the other horses fell in love with her on sight. And true to her name, True Colors would never pretend to be something she was not; with her wise, intuitive nature, she would end up changing the lives of everyone she encountered. This is the story of True Colors and how, with her quiet wisdom, she became the heart of the range and farm. There is a famous horsemanand#8217;s saying: A horse never lies about its pain. But maybe we should also consider: A horse never lies about love.
About the Author
andnbsp;andlt;bandgt;Jana Harrisandlt;/bandgt; is a poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist who teaches creative writing at the University of Washington and is a Washington State Governorand#8217;s Writers Award and Andres Berger Award winner, as well as a PEN West Center Award finalist. She won a Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2001 and is editor and founder of andlt;i andgt;Switched-on Gutenbergandlt;/iandgt;, one of the first electronic global poetry journals. She lives in the Cascade Mountains with her husband, where they raise horses.