The story starts in 2019 with Theo, a young art historian who finds a painting of a horse in roadside trash. He meets Jess, a scientist studying the bones of a horse’s skeleton found in an attic. The horse is Lexington, a champion racehorse from the pre-Civil War days. Lexington’s groom throughout his life was a young slave called Jarrett who developed a strong emotional attachment to the horse. The majority of the book is set in this era, but it shifts back and forth between 2019, the 1850s and also 1955, when an art collector is drawn to a particular painting if a horse.
I have to agree with Washington Post, who wrote: “Horse” is a reminder of the simple, primal power an author can summon by creating characters readers care about and telling a story about them.” I also felt that “The relationship between Jarret and Lexington is intimate and compelling.”, and “the descriptions of 19th-century horse racing, when the animals were bred differently and raced much longer tracks, are thrilling.” (The Atlantic). I also appreciate the depth of research the author has undertaken to bring us this fascinating story.
Author: Geraldine Brooks
“Lexington sprang into the lead, with Arrow coming up second and the other two horses bunched together neck and neck behind. For one minute, two – minutes that stretched like rubber, pulled outside the normal human experience of time – they held that formation.”