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Painted Horses

ISBN: 9780802123817 | 0802123813
Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Grove Press
Pub. Date: 6/9/2015

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“Engrossing . . . The best novels are not just written but built—scene by scene, character by character—until a world emerges for readers to fall into. Painted Horses creates several worlds in a seamless and ambitious blend of history, romance, archaeology and nature. . . . Hard to forget.” —Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today (4 out of 4 stars)

In the mid-1950s, America was flush with prosperity and saw an unbroken line of progress clear to the horizon, while the West was still very much wild. In Painted Horses, now in paperback, a dauntless woman travels into that untamed landscape in an adventure that will change her life. Catherine Lemay is a young archaeologist who’s come to Montana with a huge task before her—a canyon “as deep as the devil’s own appetites.” Working ahead of a major dam project, she has one summer to prove nothing of historical value will be lost in the flood. From the moment she arrives, nothing is what she expects. John H is a former mustanger with an intuitive genius for breaking horses. A veteran of the U.S. Army’s last mounted cavalry campaign, he lives a fugitive life, driven by pursuit of one last wild thing. John H inspires Catherine to see beauty in the stark landscape, and her heart opens to more than just the vanished past. Painted Horses sings a love song to the horseman’s vanishing way of life and reminds us that love and ambition, tradition and progress, often make strange bedfellows.

“Extraordinary . . . Surprising and satisfying . . . Brooks has fashioned compelling and sympathetic protagonists. . . . John H—orphan, rail rider, cowboy, World War II veteran, Paris artist, canyon hermit—in particular, has a backstory that is both intimate and sweeping in a way that may remind readers of Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient. . . . Painted Horses is, after all, one of those big, old-fashioned novels where the mundane and the unlikely coexist.”—Kent Black, Boston Globe

“Malcolm Brooks’ novel has the hard thrill of the West, when it was still a new world, the tenderness of first love and the pain of knowledge. This book is a gripping, compulsively readable page-turner.”—Amy Bloom, author of Away

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