honest, resolute memoir that details how a writer suffering an existential
crisis found healing and salvation in her passion for horses.
By her 35th birthday, Maum (Before and After the Book Deal; Costalegre) was a successful novelist, working on her second book. She was at her happiest--a beloved wife and doting mother of a beautiful baby girl, Nina. She and her equally creative filmmaker husband had moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., into a fixer-upper house they bought in the Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts. But when Nina turned two, something indefinable manifested in Maum--an existential crisis. Maum was deluged with roiling feelings that stalled her writing, plagued her with insomnia and provoked a general feeling of emotional malaise. A non-life-threatening car crash sustained with her husband and daughter "was a match to the depression" that would all-out engulf her. However, the accident proved a necessary jolt that sent Maum on a journey to reassess her life and decipher what might bring her a sense of peace and joy, and restore her equilibrium.
In therapy, Maum mined her past, recognizing how she missed her affinity and fascination for horses, starting when she was a child with a pony, boarded in a barn near her family's Greenwich, Conn., home. Maum's journey of healing and salvation in reconnecting to equine culture is wittily engaging and uncompromisingly forthright. She confronts the past, while also braiding in delightful flourishes regarding the metaphorical meanings of horses and the universal role they have played throughout history and in the arts.
Tin House Books, $27.95 hardcover, 9781953534156, 416 pages
Publication Date: April 19, 2022
To read the longer form of this review as originally published on Shelf Awareness for the Book Trade (March 22, 2022), link HERE