Horse by Talley English


Talley English

Horse is a piercing story about how families hold together and fall apart, loss and grief, friendship, the blunt cruelty of chance, and forgiveness.

Access the hottest new Penguin Random House books months before they hit the shelves.

Sign In or Join Today

Featured Titles


Sign me up to receive news about Talley English.

Place our blog button on your blog to let people know you are a member of this great program!

The haunting debut of a plainspoken, utterly original new voice: a novel about a girl on the cusp of her teenage years, who is growing up faster than she ever hoped she would.

When Teagan's father abruptly abandons his family and his farm, Teagan finds herself wading through the wreckage of what was once an idyllic life, searching for something--or someone--to hold on to. What she finds is Ian, short for Obsidian: the magnificent but dangerously headstrong horse her father left behind. But even as she grows close to Ian, patiently training him, trying to overcome her fear of him, Teagan is learning that life and love are fragile. With an unflinching eye and remarkable restraint, Talley English tells a piercing story about how families hold together and fall apart; about loss and grief; about friendship; about the blunt cruelty of chance; and, finally, about forgiveness.

Advance Galley Reviews

This is Teagan’s coming of age story. She bonds with her fathers horse Ian to help her in handling family issues. I find the story as a whole a very good story. However it was slow and tedious at times. It also seemed choppy and unconnected in spots. Like when we we would see different periods of her life in the same chapter. The ending was heartbreaking.

Hmm. As a "horse person," it's easy to tell that English is a kindred spirit. The book follows Teagan's journey through the split of her family as she finds solace in her father's horse, Ian. The moments surrounding Ian and Teagan's relationship are gorgeously done--I know others might find the detail tedious, but I loved it. But it's the surrounding set pieces that don't ring as poignantly. In that way, the book reads inconsistently in moments, even as there's an authenticity of emotion in every page. I'm also a bit confused by the weird time shift at the end of the novel; it seems unnecessary, even as it doesn't really affect the readability of the book. I think horse people would find this a really compelling read, even though I don't think others might like it as much.

What a book! I thoroughly enjoyed every moment. At the beginning it was hard for me to get used to the writing style (its written more as a diary or a poem) but once i got it, it just started flowing. I will not give any spoilers, but its a wonderful story about young girl coming of age and learning to deal with life and family issues by bonding with a horse.

I love horses and bonding stories, but for some reason, this one felt a little bit slow and not well connected at certain points. But still a nice story.

Took a while to get into this book and by the time I felt I was getting invested in the story and the characters it kind of just sputtered out.

I tried, I really tried to get into this book -- but I just couldn't. It was confusing form the very beginning for me, the short chapters made it feel really choppy & the characters seemed unemotional and unconnected with each other. I have to admit, I didn't even finish it.

This is a good story, especially if you like horses. For me, there was too much fluff. I don’t really need two pages dedicated to the appearance of a dorm room. Also, the jumping around to different periods in the same chapter was confusing. Not a bad debut novel

The short unemotional sentences made it hard to connect with either the story or the characters. I did enjoy hearing the details of saddling up the horse and other horse related moments. The shifting around from childhood to adulthood didn't really seem to serve a purpose. I didn't find this to be a satisfying book.

Teagan is a girl who is learning to cope with her parent's divorce. At the center of her life was her horse, but then she had to put him down. Not sure of her place in the world and needing a change, she tries going to a private school. Her mother has sent along her father's horse Ian for her to use at school, and he's a bit of a wildcard. While she makes friends, emotionally she starts to spiral. Her father starts visiting her at school and it's awkward. Finally getting into therapy and heading back home, things start getting better for her and Ian. The last 3/4's of the book, the chapters would touch on Teagan grown up and then go back to the time in which she was learning to cope with her parent's divorce. It was a bit bizarre because I didn't feel like the grown-up Teagan was really needed. English did a great job with everything horse related. From the saddle down to the bit, the competitions, and grooming, it was thoroughly covered. But sometimes it just seemed a bit too much explanation, especially when Teagan was doing the dressage test. Horse was okay but not a book that stuck out.

I enjoyed the story but also thought it was choppy and uneven. The ending was confusing too.

I liked this book for the most part, it is an engrossing story of a teen going through the sudden breaking up of her family. Therapy for her is bonding with her father's horse, Ian, now her own. Some of the focus is on caring for her horse in detail and interacting with her family. Her father leaves for another woman throwing the family dynamic off. Teagan reels from hurt and feeling left out. Parts are confusing and seem out of focus, or an effect since Teagan is depressed and disconnected, at times exhibiting odd behavior. The end is simply heartbreaking. Recommend.


Copy the following link