the truth about horses Christy Cashman

Christy Cashman – The Truth about Horses, a review

The Truth about Horses by Christy Cashman is the story of a young woman, Reese, who is struggling to deal with the loss of her mother while also trying to navigate a world where her beloved father is anything but the man she used to know. Horses play a very important role in the story. They are both a reminder of Reese’s mother and a form of therapy for this unhappy teenager who is lost in the new world she finds herself in.

Ms Cashman’s love for horses is reflected through Reese’s deep connection with these beautiful animals. The Truth about Horses is like a coin: it has two sides. On one side we have Reese’s father who is unwilling to deal with the loss of his wife and instead chooses to ignore his daughter; and on the other we have Wes, the new owner of Reese’s family’s barn, who is presented as a very pure, honest person who is extremely good with horses. As far as Reese’s relationship with these two men is concerned, we could say that one represents unhappiness and sadness caused by repressed emotions, while the other represents safety and true happiness. When she is with her father, Reese cannot seem to be able to express her emotions in a healthy way. Wes, on the other hand, serves as a mentor who silently guides her through her journey of self-(re)discovery.

I don’t know much about horses and I have to admit that I did not like the first part of the novel where Ms Cashman describes a horse race. Not because her writing is in any way bad, just because I felt like this is something I cannot agree with (some injuries these horses suffer are deadly and it just doesn’t seem ok that people put them in such danger). Later on, the novel is filled with descriptions of the everyday lives of these horses at a barn where they are loved, cherished and cared for (some aspects of caring for the horses were a bit too much for me to handle, but I won’t spoil the story for you).

What I found even more interesting in Ms Cashman’s The Truth about Horses was the image of Reese’s father and his relationship with his daughter. I’m always interested in why some people do what they do. I love trying to figure out what drives them, what their motivations are, what feelings prompt them to behave the way they do. It was very hard for me to understand this man who used to be so great with his little girl but now refuses to acknowledge even her existence. The way his grief blinds him is revolting to say the least. Ms Cashman manages to keep the reader guessing as to how their strained relationship is going to be mended right up until the very end of the novel.

My Rating

All in all, The Truth about Horses was a very engaging read. I had my reservations about it, knowing it was a coming of age story and the main character was a teenage girl. I thought it was going to be difficult for me to identify with her, but I was wrong. Reese is kind, smart, perseverent, funny and weird. She is someone I would love to get to know in real life.

The Truth about Horses deserves a Four Fox rating out of five. 🦊🦊🦊🦊

I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s interested in learning more about horses, and about how to deal with loss.

Discussion Points

How does Reese’s connection with horses help her deal with the loss of her mother?

Why do you think the wild horses appear to Reese? What or who does the black horse represent?

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