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Avoca Free Library 1 FICTION Adult Paperback Fiction Book
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Summary

Summary

An unforgettable story of men and horses, the American West, and the dream of a ticket out
* A May 2012 Indie Next Pick *

Will Testerman is a young Wyoming horse trainer determined to make something of himself. Money is tight at the family ranch, where he's living again after a disastrous end to his job on the Texas show-horse circuit. He sees his chance with a beautiful quarter horse, a filly that might earn him a reputation, and spends his savings to buy her.

Armed with stories and the confidence of youth, he devotes himself to her training--first, in the familiar barns and corrals of home, then on a guest ranch in the rugged Absaroka mountains, and, in the final trial, on the glittering, treacherous polo fields of southern California.

With Boleto , Alyson Hagy delivers a masterfully told, exquisitely observed novel about our intimate relationships with animals and money, against the backdrop of a new West that is changing forever.


Author Notes

Alyson Hagy was raised on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She is the author of two previous novels and four collections of stories, most recently Ghosts of Wyoming . She lives and teaches in Laramie, Wyoming.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* With a keen understanding of the New West and in prose so beautiful that it reads like poetry, Hagy (Ghosts of Wyoming, 2010) follows Will Testerman as he strives to realize his goal of becoming a horse trainer. His father, who works two jobs to support his failing ranch, thinks his son is a dreamer, which is the ultimate insult in rural Wyoming. Even after a disastrous stint on the Texas show-horse circuit, Will spends his savings to buy an impressive quarter horse, convinced the move will make his reputation and grant him entree into the elite world of training polo horses. He starts a strict regimen, ever so carefully bringing his young filly along, first at home, then at a guest ranch in the Absaroka Mountains, and, finally, at the deluxe farm of a fabulously wealthy Argentine businessman. But Will's straight-arrow upbringing and unfailing reverence for all aspects of tending to horses prove to be his undoing in the hedonistic, flashy world of polo players. Hagy exquisitely delineates the magnificence of horses and the western landscape even as she pointedly critiques class warfare in the New West.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

A restless young cowboy bets it all on a horse he raises from filly to mare in Hagy's (Ghosts of Wyoming) beautiful tale of redemption and perseverance. Will Testerman, raised with two brothers on a small ranch in Lost Cabin, Wyo., by a critical father and a mother battling cancer, returns home after a stint grooming show horses in Texas ends in melodramatic disaster. Determined to redeem himself, he spends his hard-earned savings on a "strong-legged filly with papers" and devotes himself to rearing and training her, despite his doubting father and older, more successful brothers. Once through the Wyoming winter, Will works as a "corral boss" on a nearby ranch for the summer before going to the esteemed California "Estanza Flora" ranch to train horses on the polo circuit, a challenging but rewarding job, and where he continues to train and develop his horse. In measured, textured prose, Hagy finesses the nuances of equestrian life, from the knowing twitch of the filly's ears to Will naming his horse "Boleto" ("ticket"), signifying his hoped for success. Joining such resonant talents as Annie Proulx and Kent Haruf, Hagy is fast becoming a recognizable author of the American West. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents Inc. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Living on his family's Wyoming ranch after his job on the Texas show-horse circuit ends badly, Will Testerman buys a beautiful filly he's seen-an expensive investment for this intermittently employed horse trainer. Putting some personal misadventures behind him, he has set his sights on California and the more lucrative world of polo horses. Although he has brief affairs with several young women, Will is careful to avoid any connections that might slow him down, and he refuses to name the filly he hopes he can train and eventually sell. Saying a reluctant good-bye to his ill mother, an ex-girlfriend, and the leaden expectations of his father, his brothers, and his small-town life, he tries to begin again, alone and friendless, with his horses on the West Coast. Vivid descriptions of horses and their caretakers' lives frame the novel and slowly draw readers into caring about the taciturn, cautious, yet unpredictable Will. VERDICT Hagy (Ghosts of Wyoming) knows her territory, describing dude ranch employees, harnesses, trails, horses, and human conflict in lyrical but concise language. This realistic tale about a modern cowboy will be popular with lovers of literary fiction and American Western culture.-John R. Cecil, Austin, TX (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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