Horse
by English, Talley







Sonnet I3(2)
Prologue5(4)
One
Found
9(7)
End
16(1)
Saddle
17(1)
Trail Ride
18(9)
Song
27(1)
Susanna's Game
28(4)
Barn Cats
32(5)
Cat and Cat
37(2)
Teeth
39(1)
Roof
40(1)
Truck
41(11)
Car
52(4)
Cake
56(2)
Obsidian
58(1)
Foxhunt
59(1)
Susanna Told Teagan a Story
60(1)
Curriculum Vitae (Abstract)
61(1)
First Ride and Foxes
61(7)
Dobb
68(5)
Phone
73(1)
Mornings Are Repetitive
74(1)
Bedroom
74(2)
Ball
76(2)
Railing
78(1)
Robert
78(1)
Away
79(2)
Drink
81(3)
Injured
84(5)
Wait
89(3)
Blind
92(3)
Remember
95(4)
Two
Hunting Hill
99(12)
Ex
111(1)
This Has Never Happened
112(1)
Infinite
113(2)
Versus
115(2)
Red Filly
117(5)
Kennedy Center
122(5)
Accident
127(4)
Definition
131(1)
Call
132(1)
She Knows Everything (About Riding Horses)
133(9)
Around Town
142(3)
Thought
145(1)
Robert Bought the Horse (Because It Bit Him on the Arm)
146(3)
Persimmon
149(4)
Turn Out
153(4)
Manners
157(1)
Troll
158(3)
Tall Boots
161(1)
Sleeping Over
162(4)
Omit
166(2)
Out to Lunch
168(4)
Girls' School
172(1)
Night (Memory)
173(2)
One Night
175(1)
A Ghost
176(5)
Grave Site
181(6)
Late at Night
187(2)
Wedding
189(3)
Attend
192(1)
Invitation
193(6)
Image
199(1)
Reinterred
200(2)
Funeral
202(1)
Lesson
202(2)
Psychologist (Vampire)
204(1)
Hide
205(2)
Another Visit with the Vampire
207(2)
Run
209(2)
Return
211(4)
Three
Ian (Obsidian)
215(1)
On the Bit
216(4)
Sift
220(1)
Ponying
221(5)
Afternoon
226(1)
Closet
227(2)
Doughnuts
229(2)
Cookies
231(1)
Skeet
232(4)
Fence
236(6)
Jonquil (Narcissus)
242(1)
Robert's Visit
243(4)
Combined Training
247(12)
Spoons
259(15)
Fairy Tale
274(1)
Riding Lesson
275(7)
Last Ride (Though She Did Not Know It Yet)
282(3)
Lilly and Ian
285(2)
Feed
287(4)
Notify
291(1)
Build Your Own Horse
291(2)
New
293(1)
Conversation
294(1)
Artist
294(1)
Particular
295(1)
Portrait
295(1)
Grief
295(1)
Memorial
296(1)
Offering
296(1)
Letter
297(1)
Me, Ian, Robert
297(1)
Mammoth Cave
298(1)
Spirit
299(1)
Tree
299(1)
Woods
300(1)
Them
301(1)
Both
302(3)
Epilogue One Cowboy Party305(8)
Epilogue Two Horseshoe Canyon313(4)
Acknowledgments317


Falling in love with a magnificent but dangerously headstrong horse in the wake of her father's abandonment, a preteen farm girl reevaluates her beliefs about family, loss, and forgiveness while carefully training her new equine friend.





TALLEY ENGLISH received the Academy of American Poets' Gertrude Claytor Poetry Prize. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.





One would expect that the ideal operating procedure for most families dealing with difficult situations would be to talk things through. But Teagan French's family is hardly typical. Signs of trouble surface early on in English's sharp yet spare debut. Robert, Teagan's father, is away from home for extended periods of time, and it is only through quick snippets of conversation that Teagan, who is on the cusp of high school, learns that her parents' marriage has hit a rocky road. In horses and riding, Teagan finds an outlet for her emotions, which have no other place to ride to their logical conclusions. A brief stint away at a private school might physically separate the young protagonist from her problems, but, not surprisingly, Teagan discovers she can't find closure simply by moving away. English's writing, which is hauntingly ascetic, mirrors the many things left unsaid in the French family, though it may also feel distancing for some readers. Horse lovers, however, will appreciate the touching bonds between Teagan and her beloved animals. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





English's debut views a girl's coming-of-age through the lens of her relationship with the thoroughbred her father leaves behind when her parents split up. It's the summer before Teagan starts high school, and tensions between Robert and Susanna French are evident—and skillfully rendered from the anxious, bewildered perspective of their daughter—even before he moves out to live with another woman. Teagan decides to go to a girls boarding school with a riding program not far from the family's home in rural Virginia; that way she can get away from her shellshocked mother without cutting herself off entirely. She navigates the social complexities of her new environment while grappling with Ian, a headstrong, "seasoned foxhunter" bought to assuage Robert's midlife crisis and not the easiest horse for an adolescent girl to handle. Short, brooding first-person interpolations from Teagan many years later suggest that things are not going to turn out well in the main narr ative, which appears to take place in the late 1980s. Indeed, even as Teagan develops a rapport with Ian, her new friendships are faltering, her schoolwork is slipping, and her mother is worried enough to send her to a psychologist, caustically dubbed "the vampire" by Teagan. English's stripped-down prose works well to convey Teagan's increasing alienation as she decides not to go back to boarding school and pulls further away from her father after he announces he's marrying the new girlfriend. But this spare style also gives the novel an oddly distanced quality; none of Teagan's relationships have much emotional force, with the notable exception of her complex bond with Ian—which makes the impulsive decision that triggers the denouement all the more jolting. It doesn't seem to fit what until then has been a fairly typical coming-of-age tale, and an epilogue set in Arkansas is simply baffling. Very well written but alternately predictable and jarring. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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