cover image Boleto


Alyson Hagy. Graywolf, $24 (288p) ISBN 978-1-55597-612-5

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)