The Horse Hunters

Robert Newton Peck, Author
Robert Newton Peck, Author Random House (NY) $15.95 (215p) ISBN 978-0-394-56980-2
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
In this heart-warming coming-of-age tale set on a Florida ranch during the early 1930s, Peck ( A Day No Pigs Would Die ) shows how a teenager's struggles with nature, family tragedy, and a difficult older brother initiate him into manhood. Prostrated by guilt over his wife's death caused by a skittish horse that he had goaded her to ride, Sam Bodeen has become totally mute. The Bodeens' elder son, Tate, who had witnessed the accident, metamorphoses into an brutally exacting youngster with adult responsibilities who vents his pent-up fury upon Ladd, his sensitive younger brother. Deciding to win Tate's respect by rounding up wild horses at $70 a head, Ladd sets off on a 100-mile journey to the open country where the horses roam. His grueling trek, filled with danger, triumph and discovery, forms the core of this memorable book, for it turns him into a self-sufficient man capable of healing his family's pain. Though short, the novel offers suspense, conflict and heroism, along with graceful writing punctuated by quaint, home-spun expressions. (Nov.)
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