A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history
‘I loved this book so much’ ANN PATCHETT
‘Brilliantly varied and with a galloping pace’ MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘A masterpiece’ JANE SMILEY
‘Thrilling’ NEW YORK TIMES
Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamour of any racetrack.
Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse – one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.
Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred, Lexington, who became America’s greatest stud sire, Horse is an original, gripping, multi-layered reckoning with the legacy of enslavement and racism in America.