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Coal Black Horse: Book summary and reviews of Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead

Coal Black Horse

by Robert Olmstead

Coal Black Horse
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2007
    224 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

When Robey Childs's mother has a premonition about her husband, a soldier fighting in the Civil War, she does the unthinkable. She instructs her only child to retrieve his father from the battlefield and bring him home. Just fourteen and ill-prepared for the journey, Robey sets off wearing the coat his mother sewed to ensure his safety: blue on one side, gray on the other. However, it is the gift of an uncommon horse that changes Robey's destiny— a horse that becomes his only companion, guide, and protector.

As they plunge into a world of death and destruction, Robey is cloaked in the invincibility of youth. But the horrors of war, the truth of his own nature, and the inextricable connection between the two turn the boy into the best a man can be—and the worst, irrevocably scarred by all that he has seen and done.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A powerful, redemptive narrative." - PW.

"Civil War buffs will appreciate the attention to detail; general readers will be mesmerized by the powerfully evocative journey." - Booklist.

"Sparsely told and graphically depicted, Robey's journey is a small-scale epic that will find a broad audience " - Library Journal.

"Powerful and poetic. " - Kirkus.

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Author Information

Robert Olmstead Author Biography

Photo: Molly Uline-Olmstead

Robert Olmstead is the author of six previous books. Coal Black Horse was the winner of the Heartland Prize for Fiction and the Ohioana Award, was a #1 Book Sense Pick, and was a Borders Original Voices pick. Olmstead is the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and an NEA grant, and he is a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Name Pronunciation
Robert Olmstead: OLM-STED, rhymes with red

Other books by Robert Olmstead at BookBrowse
  • The Coldest Night jacket
  • Far Bright Star jacket
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