- 23 Aug 16
Here's a precis of Mary Gaitskill's The Mare: Ginger is in her forties, a recovering alcoholic and desperate to be a mother. Her husband, Paul, already a father from his first marriage, is not keen to adopt. Instead they sign up to a programme giving city children holidays in the country. Into their lives comes Velvet, a lonely young Dominican girl. While Ginger is eager to connect, Velvet develops a love of horse riding and a strange bond with an angry, abused mare.
Sounds worthy but dull, right? It's not. In less talented hands this would have been a disaster. Gaitskill tells the story from multiple viewpoints and inhabits each character, bringing their thoughts, cadence, needs and history to life. She subtly builds tension and as you turn the pages, you cannot escape the creeping sensation that Ginger and VelvetÕs lives will be irrevocably damaged. This is a mesmerising book.