The Year of the Horses: Book summary and reviews of The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum

The Year of the Horses

A Memoir

by Courtney Maum

The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum X
The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum
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Book Summary

Sharp, heartfelt, and cathartic, The Year of the Horses captures a woman's journey out of depression and the horses that guide her, physically and emotionally, on a new path forward.

At the age of thirty-seven, Courtney Maum finds herself in an indoor arena in Connecticut, moments away from stepping back into the saddle. For her, this is not just a riding lesson, but a last-ditch attempt to pull herself back from the brink even though riding is a relic from the past she walked away from. She hasn't been on or near a horse in over thirty years.

Although Maum does know what depression looks like, she finds herself refusing to admit, at this point in her life, that it could look like her: a woman with a privileged past, a mortgage, a husband, a healthy child, and a published novel. That she feels sadness is undeniable, but she feels no right to claim it. And when both therapy and medication fail, Courtney returns to her childhood passion of horseback riding as a way to recover the joy and fearlessness she once had access to as a young girl. As she finds her way, once again, through the world of contemporary horseback riding―Courtney becomes reacquainted with herself not only as a rider but as a mother, wife, daughter, writer, and woman. Alternating timelines and braided with historical portraits of women and horses alongside history's attempts to tame both parties, The Year of the Horses is an inspiring love letter to the power of animals―and humans―to heal the mind and the heart.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In this wry and tender account, novelist Maum chronicles her attempt to rekindle joy through a return to her childhood love of horseback riding...Her account of recovering that voice is vivid and exuberantly cathartic." - Publishers Weekly

"A sensitive, well-rendered chronicle of healing." - Kirkus Reviews

"Many women may find much to relate to in Maum's vulnerable and human story, which could be a favorite for book clubs." - Booklist

"A candid, deeply moving journey that details how she found her way out of a labyrinth of depression by rekindling her passion for horses...wittily engaging and uncompromisingly forthright." - Shelf Awareness

"A touching and insightful memoir of depression and healing." - The Millions

"I was sold at Courtney Maum and "horses," TBH, but pleasantly surprised to learn about the other threads in this one: Maum's experience of reckoning with depression, plus historical portraits of other horseback-riding ladies. Saddle up, we're going riding." - LitHub

"Author of Touch and Costalegre, Courtney Maum writes honestly and openly about confronting depression in her 30s and, when all else failed, taking up horseback riding again." - Katie Couric Media - Must-Read New Books Coming Out in 2022

"Courtney Maum dives into her own life with the same fearlessness and honesty that she brings to her fiction. The Year of the Horses is a beautiful, unflinching exploration of darkness and self-forgiveness, terror and tenderness." - Hala Alyan, author of Salt Houses

This information about The Year of the Horses was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Courtney Maum Author Biography

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels Costalegre (a GOOP book club pick and one of Glamour Magazine's top books of the decade), I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You and Touch (a New York Times Editor's Choice and NPR Best Book of the Year selection), the Zibby Award-winning guidebook Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book, and the memoir, The Year of the Horses. A nominee for the Joyce Carol Oates prize, Courtney's short fiction and essays about creativity have been widely published in outlets such as the New York Times and Interview Magazine, her short story "This is Not Your Fault" was turned into an Audible original, and with her filmmaker husband, she has co-written films that have debuted at Sundance ...

... Full Biography
Link to Courtney Maum's Website

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  • Costalegre jacket
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