Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Grey Horse

The Grey Horse is not a new book, it was first published in the 80's. The cover shown here is from a 2000 re-print, and if you can find a copy of the original edition in a used book story you'll get a much nicer cover. Still, even if this is the only version you can find, buy it. It is also available in a Nook edition.

This is probably my favorite book of all time. It was the first book I bought for my new Nook.

Set in Ireland in the late 1800's, before the Irish gained independence from Britan this is the story of Ruairi MacEibhir, a stable hand for horse trainer Anrai O Reachtaire. Ruairi's in love with Maire NiStandun. She won't have him. She's big, dark, stubborn, and notorious both for her temper, and the rumor she's illegitimate. On top of everything else Maire is a Nationalist. But Ruairi is a pooka so they both have secrets.

Local land owner James Blondell is a man caught between two worlds. To the local gaels he's an English outsider, to his London born wife he's too Irish and blind the the dangers Irish secessionists pose to their son Tobias.

Toby hates the isolation of being his father's son. He fears he can't live up to his Blondell's expectations, and is terrified of being sent away to school in England. He's timid and awkward until his father sends him to Anrai to improve his riding skills. There he gets jumping lessons on Anrai's mysterious grey native horse and meets Ruairi the groom with odd eyes. Ruairo teaches him that a small young boy can be more powerful than a Thoroughbred, or fate itself, if he can find his inner balance and learn to keep his whits about him.

There's political intrigue, murder, horse raceing, love, and loss, all set against the landscape of Western Ireland. I've read the book more than a dozen times and it never gets old.

1 comment:

Kimber An said...

Very cool, Mary. Sounds like one of those books that has everything.