The Horseman

The Horseman

Book - 2017
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"Somerset, 1911. The forces of war are building across Europe, but this pocket of England, where the rhythms of lives are dictated by the seasons and the land, remains untouched. Albert Sercombe is a farmer on Lord Prideaux's estate and his eldest son, Sid, is underkeeper to the head gamekeeper. His son, Leo, a talented rider, grows up alongside the master's spirited daughter, Charlotte--a girl who shoots and rides, much to the surprise of the locals. In beautiful, pastoral writing, The Horseman tells the story of a family, a community, and the landscape they come from." --
Publisher: New York :, Bloomsbury,, 2017.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781632866936
1632866935
Branch Call Number: FIC PEAR
Characteristics: 302 pages ; 22 cm

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wendybird Jul 08, 2020

Many times, while grooming my mare in the quiet barn, I've thought about the hundreds of years equestrian tradition that form so many horse-related tasks. We still mount from the left (keeping our right hand free for a sword & conflict), measure equine height in "hands", and use a strange assortment of implements (currycombs, and picks) to keep the coats and feet clean.
Tim Pears novel, set deep in rural England circa 1911, overflows with simple beauty found in these old traditional ways and the land and animals being tended. The story revolves around young Leo Sercombe, an aspiring horseman, son of Albert, a farmer and carter in service to the estate's master, Lord Prideaux.
The tale, like those working the soil, follows the sun, and each new season brings it's special tasks and pleasures. These rituals are fully described, taking the reader directly there. September, for example, brings the harvest and celebration, each villagers having specific role in the bounty's collection.
This is a book to savour, therefore, and not to hurry with : there is no fast-paced plot or Gordian mystery to untangle beyond the simplicity, rusticity, and sometimes cruelty of that long gone time where wheat sheaves were hand bundled, and going to the fair meant selecting a new pony for your cart. I simply couldn't get enough. Luckily, this is first in a trilogy, and I look forward to reading the set.

k
Kabloona
Jun 09, 2018

I have been reading books for 60 years and this is in my top 10 best read.

Nicr Jun 05, 2017

Seasons in Somerset circa 1911 with horse-loving, twelve-year-old Leo and his brothers and sister, the children of a carter who works the master's estate. Maybe more than anyone could possibly want to know about pre-WWI farming techniques, but at the same time, the story of "the boy" and his special affinity for horses is engaging. Part One of a trilogy.

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