Ahhh, I love an old fashioned romance. Horses are ok, too. Put them together and you have the makings of terrific literature. I’ve seen the movie, I’m not going to lie to you, but everyone knows that the book is always better than the movie. I’ve found that to be the case in almost every book I’ve ever read except for “The Bridges of Madison County,” where the movie was definitely better than the book. But I digress, back to “The Horse Whisperer.” I’m not much of an animal-person, but I have to say, I found the parts of the book having to do with horses extremely interesting and I would certainly like to learn more. At it’s heart, though, The Horse Whisperer, is a terrific romance/drama with deep, well-developed characters who are interesting from start to finish.
The story it self is heartbreaking. A young girl, Grace, is severely injured in an accident while on her horse. While she is recovering from a near fatal injury, her horse has near lost his mind. The folks who take care of the horse are pretty convinced he should be let go, but Grace’s mother, Annie, refuses to make that decision and forces them to keep the horse alive. Annie and her husband, Robert, seem to be comfortable, if not busy with their respective careers, in their marriage before Grace’s accident. After Grace’s accident, it’s all they can do to communicate with each other. When Grace starts back to school things between the three of them are stifled. What’s more, Annie feels Grace slipping away. In an attempt to take control of something, anything, Annie contacts Tom Booker, a horse teacher and trainer from Montana and begs him to help Grace’s horse.
At first, Tom refuses, but after Annie physically brings Grace and her horse, Pilgrim, all the way to Montana, Tom relents and agrees to take a look at Pilgrim. Over the next two moths, Grace and Annie will exist in a different world. While Grace continues with her therapy and Annie tries to keep working at the same frenetic pace, they are both transformed by being near Tom and his family. What’s more, Annie is forced to take a long look at her marriage and her relationship with her daughter.
I can tell you that the ending in the book is indeed different from the movie and the characters are a smidgen different than as portrayed in the movie. I thought that this was a good thing. The book is beautifully written and deals with the depth of marriage, mother-daughter relationships, and affairs of the heart in what I thought was a sensitive and realistic way. I cared about what was going to happen to these people and was definitely rooting for Pilgrim and Grace to reconnect. Tom Booker I simply lusted after, I mean come on, regardless of the differences in the book and movie, when I read Tom Booker, I think Robert Redford. This is an oldie but a goodie and I would read another book from this author in a minute!