In the High Peaks

Monday, January 4, 2016

The New Year and Gaitskill's The Mare

Work consumed me over Christmas week and New Year's and ever since, although I did manage to take off Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

On New Year's Eve I finally finished Fall of Giants by Ken Follett. I'm glad I read it, but at nearly 1,000 pages, I'm not sure I'll continue his Twentieth Century trilogy. It was informative and engaging, true, but I've invested enough as it stands with me now.

I'm deeply enjoying The Mare by Mary Gaitskill, which I'm reading along with a friend who adores  animals, is a veterinarian, and owns two horses. I bought a copy for each of us for Christmas, because I have always been a horse lover and thought it would be fun.

First of all, you don't need to like animals to enjoy this book. It received high acclaim from The New York Times, Washington Post, The New Yorker, and among other top reviewers. It's the story of a young girl from the Dominican Republic who lives in the Bronx and who visits an upstate New York family during the summer as a Fresh Air "camper." She falls in love with horses, the family she stays with, and with her life upstate; and therein the struggle begins. The voices of the characters are exquisitely drawn.


  1. That pretty much sums up my feelings about Fall of Giants, too. It's been nearly two years and I haven't managed to pick up Winter of the World.

    Everything about The Mare appeals to me! I've read Gaitskill before and her writing is exquisite... will look forward to your thoughts.

  2. Hi JoAnn,
    I think my biggest problem with the Fall of Giants trilogy is that I immediately think, "There are so many other books to read!" Actually, this feeling grows within me with each passing year.

    JoAnn, from reading your blog for a long time now, I'm fairly certain that The Mare will captivate you.