Horse - Geraldine Brooks


By Geraldine Brooks

  • Release Date: 2022-06-14
  • Genre: Historical
Score: 4.5
From 1,075 Ratings


“Brooks’ chronological and cross-disciplinary leaps are thrilling.” —The New York Times Book Review

Horse isn’t just an animal story—it’s a moving narrative about race and art.” —TIME

“A revelation . . . [the] best horse book I’ve ever read.” Jane Smiley, The New York Times Book Review

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack. 
New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse—one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.


  • Amazing book, one of the best I have read

    By Jbherrera
    I loved this book, more than I can express. Not just her equestrian history during the Antebellum, but her depiction of racism in the present tense was incisive and important. I am surprised that she did not make mention of how she came about describing what happened to Theo. What inspired her to write it.
  • How do I get the book to open again?

    By vanteel
    I’m still reading the book but I can’t seem to get it back.
  • You ruined a good beginning

    By NapTym
    A brilliant storyline marred in the end by modern hysterical views of racism.
  • Refreshing, enlightening, enthralling.

    By mhselt
    Strong historical fiction yet very captivating. Reads like a friend telling us a great story that is filled with mystery and excitement. It also weaves in the realities of racism in the mid to late 1800’s and shows us how this racism is still happening today. Great animal characters that give love and loyalty unconditionally.
  • Awesome tale of the power of the relationship of a man and a horse

    By Epaaone
    Great read for any Horse Enthusiast!
  • Horse is a worthwhile read

    By Bookclub Mom
    I really enjoyed this book. The descriptive writing style Of the era along with character development of the the horse and trainer bond made me feel very invested in their lives. I now have a greater understanding of the history of horse racing in Kentucky.
  • Excellent!

    By Nicholas Sinisi
    Beautifully written and very timely.
  • Horse

    By zoesampoochie
    Really loved this story, BUT stop this anti Trump narrative. The modern characters were contrived. I guessed the modern character’s role and ending immediately after being introduced. This wrecked the book for me.
  • Horse

    By Georgia8286
    Excellent. Excellent. Well developed in every way
  • Horse

    By Little Midget Momma
    I enjoyed the book very much until the end , when it became more about modern day racial issues instead of about horses. That story line might do better in a different book. Brooks’ writing style is very good, drawing the reader into not wanting to put the book down.