It is amazing to me that HORSE by Geraldine Brooks is not high on the New York Times Best Seller List! I place it among the two best novels I have read this year and yes the Boston Globe, ( Brooks lives in Massachusetts), lists it as number #1.

HORSE, weaves its central characters across two centuries. By definition Horse is a novel but the storytelling is so well researched for me it falls into the historical novel category.

You will be enthralled with a story set in both the 19th and 21st centuries. Brookes ties her characters and the story line across generations and social issues of the time. Lexington, the greatest thoroughbred that ever lived. The Black Slave horse groom Jarret, generations of bondage, racism, wealthy southern dandies, the Civil War, Quantrell, Jim Crow, 21st century police violence against Black men, the world of equine art and a love story between a Smithsonian scientist from Australia and a Nigerian American art historian. The storyline blend is simply perfect. Indeed a page turner in every good sense of the term.

Whether or not you love horses this novel tells a story wherein every word, scent, event, every social issue and injustice could very well be non-fiction.

And yes, with all of the wonderful major roles in HORSE, watch for Clancy. You’ll see.

I think there is much of Geraldine Brooks in this book.

Also by Geraldine Brooks The Secret Chord and Caleb’s Crossing. ( Search


There is no need  to add to the accolades already published for Geraldine Brook’s 2011 novel Caleb’s Crossing.

imgresWhile technically not a historical novel it comes very close by adding disciplined imagination to a factual story line that makes this book a great read. I join The New York Time’s  Bill Cunningham in his thinking that the prodigious use of the word marvelous is often joyously appropriate. It certainly applies to Caleb’s Crossing.This work of Pulitzer Prize author Brooks proudly stands alongside her so honored March.

While reading  Caleb’s Crossing I thought of Anya Seton’s Winthrop Women which was  set in the same period and mindset. Anne Hutchinson even makes an appearance. Martha’s Vineyard was a distant place in the 1650s but not removed from the narrowness  of Puritan provincialism.

Bethia and Caleb, a teenage girl and a native young man. You will fall in love with them both as you travel on their personal journey, guided beautifully by Bethia’s narrative.

Whether historical novel or fiction, Caleb’s Crossing is further testament that some independent thinkers who came to America during the Great Migration would ultimately prevail over the rigid and strident Puritans.