Painted Horses by Malcolm Brooks
2016 Everybody Reads Selection
Painted Horses is the story of a young woman on a journey to tame a wild landscape, the tide of progress in the middle of the “American century,” and a beautiful and passionate love story told by an extraordinary and exciting new literary voice. Rich with detail and a propulsive narrative arc, “Brooks delivers an authentic story, examining in gripping, page-turning prose what it means to live in the West” (Library Journal, starred review) in a tale of the modern and ancient, of love and fate, and heritage threatened by progress.
It is 1956. Catherine Lemay is a young archaeologist on her way to Montana, with a huge task before her—a canyon “as deep as the devil’s own appetites.” Working ahead of a major dam project, she has one summer to prove nothing of historical value will be lost in the flood. From the moment she arrives, nothing is familiar—the vastness of the canyon itself mocks the contained, artifact-rich digs in post-Blitz London where she cut her teeth. And then there’s John H, a former mustanger and veteran of the U.S. Army’s last mounted cavalry campaign, living a fugitive life in the canyon. John H inspires Catherine to see beauty in the stark landscape, and her heart opens to more than the vanished past.