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In the Presence of Horses: A Novel

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  130 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A moving, powerful novel of a woman coming to terms with her past -- for readers of Jane Hamilton and Barbara Kingsolver.

Throughout her life Natalie Baxter has lost everyone she has ever cared for, and after losing her faith in people she returns to her hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and takes a job at a local horse ranch. Caring for a fiery true black mare named Twi
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 15th 1999 by Picador (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 277)
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Suzanna
Nov 26, 2012 Suzanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was terribly sullen and hollow. The main character has a tremendous amount of baggage with which she does not deal, but instead tries to evade. The only satisfying relationship in the book was the one she had with a horse early in the novel; the rest are underdeveloped, and punctuated with sadness and angst.

Death is a prominent theme, with virtually every somewhat-developed relationship in the book ending with a death. A few relationships were never developed but just hinted at, and s
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Blaire
Aug 09, 2009 Blaire rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This is a very creditable first novel. Its strengths are the knowledge and love of all things equine that the author is able to share and an intimate knowledge of the Moravian culture around Bethlehem, PA. I found both aspects of the book fascinating. The pace is sure and steady; the author keeps the action moving fast enough that it never drags. That being said, I found the emotional tone of the book to be too constant. The protagonist is an emotionally damaged person - a bit out of control alt ...more
Christina
Aug 30, 2013 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: pony-books
If you want a fun happy story, go look for it elsewhere. However if you want something moody and darkly mellow, this book fits the bill.

It's true that the characters never really resolve their issues in a Happily Ever After way, but I thought that for Natalie, the book does end with a glimmer of hope that things might turn out okay, or at least better. She has sorted through her past as we see through flashbacks, and even though in the present she faces even more unhappy events, there is the sw
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Barbara
Mar 27, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
This book was pretty bleak and sad, but the end was pretty good.
Amanda
Jul 02, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Den här boken tyckte jag började väldigt bra, men när jag läst lite mer än hälften började det gå utför. Huvudkaraktärens handlingar kändes inte alls vettiga och det blev rörigt då många stycken vart tillbakablickar. Slutet kändes ouppklarat och jag lämnades med många frågetecken. Dock var första halvan av boken riktigt bra, både handlingsmässigt och skrivmässigt. Rekommenderas dock inte till folk som inte gillar hästar.
Cindy
Jul 13, 2011 Cindy rated it it was ok
I love horse and girl stories, I finished this book but it was not a happy read at all, the two main characters were depressed, sullen and shallow sad sacks, I kept hoping something cheerful would come about but no, the main character was no one I would relate to, except for her love and care of the horses.
Amy
Sep 22, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
I enjoyed this. Can't say that I completely understood the main characters angst. Part of me wanted her to just get over it already. This book didn't go where I expected it to, which in one sense is a good thing, yet in another, not so much. If you enjoy/own horses, well worth a read.
Natalie
Jun 29, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it
Shelves: horse-books
Impeccable equestrian details make this dark, brooding novel a pleaser for horse-people.

Part of my 2012 Equestrian Summer Reading List at Dappled Grey! See the entire list: http://www.dappledgrey.com/2012/06/eq...
Kate
Jan 23, 2012 Kate rated it it was ok
It was okay, but I hated the ending and felt that none of the characters really took responsibility for their own stupid choices and unreasonably emotional mooning about.
Katy M
May 20, 2014 Katy M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written, but I never really got what was going on with Peirce and there wasn't much of a resolution of what happens with Natalie at the end.
Elizabeth Ban
Jun 01, 2012 Elizabeth Ban rated it it was ok


It starts out beautifully, then fizzles out in the middle and by the end you don't care what happens. nevertheless, good first effort.
Lisa
Feb 01, 2010 Lisa rated it it was amazing
LOVE this book. I've read it at least three times. It really captures how one person can connect with a horse.
Kristy Shaffer
Dec 30, 2011 Kristy Shaffer rated it did not like it
I'm half way thru this one but having a hard time wanting to finish it...
Drew
IN THE PRESENCE OF HORSES by Barbara Dimmick (1998)
Kim Odom
Jan 18, 2011 Kim Odom rated it really liked it
Great book, depressing ending.
Ursina
Aug 18, 2010 Ursina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So sad.
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