West Virginia: Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A brilliant novel that captures the dusty, dark, and beautiful world of small-time horse racing, where trainers, jockeys, grooms and grifters vie for what little luck is offered at a run-down West Virginia track.
Reviewed by Elisha of Rainy Day Reviews!:
This won the National Book Award. How fun is that? I was looking forward to reading this because not only did it win that award, but it is about horse-riding. My dad and his siblings grew up with animals. My dad’s dad grew up on a farm. My daughter loves horses and has rode a horse a few times. I grew up with horses at my church. So, I was especially excited to read a novel about horses.
However, it was not quite what I expected. Although I am not sure what I expected. Black beauty perhaps? Black beauty this was not. This was gritty and dirty (pun not intended). There was drug use (both illegal and legal) that surprised me. There was also gambling (although there was a track, so I can’t be surprised there), and characters that you typically would not want as your neighbors, but may not know; if they were. Although the story was intense and new to me, I am not sure I care for this type of story. I may not have been the right reader for this book, but I am glad I read it and gave it a shot.