Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Book Review: The Year of the Horses

By Cindy Roesel

I’ve been reading a lot of memoirs lately. In fact, I began a memoir workshop in January. I enjoy Courtney Maum’s fiction, and was excited to read she wrote a memoir, The Year of the Horses (Tin House). It takes grace and courage to put your real life on the page and Courtney doesn’t hold back.

Courtney grew up privileged, she lived in a wealthy neighborhood and she rode horses. Then her brother was diagnosed with a rare heart condition and her magical childhood ended; no more horses and eventually her parents split up. As a child she had passion, friends, sports and as she got older, creative writing became an important part of her life. She soon got published, but there was something missing.

She got married, had a child, but therapy and medication didn’t help her with her depression. She refused to believed she was depressed because she was secure financially, had a husband and child, as well as successes. Thirty years after leaving the barn, she found herself riding horses and getting well. 

Riding is an activity compromised mostly of girls and strong women. Many books have been written trying to unlock the bond between women and horses. Courtney soon found herself playing polo, with husband and daughter cheering her on.

“A safe place that just so happened to be one of the most dangerous sports in the world.”
--Courtney Maum

Courtney takes us on a journey of darkness and forgiveness, and we, as readers, learn to embrace our true selves. The Year of The Horses is engaging, enjoyable and full of horse knowledge. 

FYI: The end of the memoir provides a collection of further readings.

Thanks to Tin House for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Courtney Maum:

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