Horse Heaven

Jane Smiley

I’ve been wanting to read Jane Smiley but was put off by the high prices her publishers demand for her books. When a copy of this book was on sale for $2.99, I gave it a shot. I am so glad I did. This farrago of characters kept me amused for months. As I neared the end, I read in smaller and smaller bites to make the book last longer.

For a reader like me, more interested in characters than plot, this book was made in heaven. It takes place over two years, and all the people and horses (and one dog) involved in racing get their time in the sun as the book goes on. We learn about the owners, trainers, grooms, psychics, horse masseuse, bettors, and most importantly, the horses. Their personalities, fears and ambitions make up the novel.

One complaint lodged against the book is that there isn’t a plot. There wasn’t a plot to the Seinfeld show, either, but it made for excellent television. This book makes for excellent reading.