HORSE HEAVEN, by Jane Smiley

The inimitable Smiley brings her awesome writing talent to the fascinating subject of horses, partuclarly thoroughbreds. And their owners, none of which are ordinary, and their “staff”. The horses’, not the owners’: grooms, riders, trainers, managers. Tracing it all through the lives of a group of horses, Smiley not only educates us about these sublime beasts, but about the world they inhabit and illuminate and the people whose lives are devoted to them. It’s a big book, and worth every minute of its 561 pages of 8 point type. I love a novel that actually gets deep into a subject. So it's big; so for me it's just more delicious time spent with this world. Horse Heaven is sheer heaven: 5+. While there's a certain amount of hanky panky, there's nothing explicit; could be a great gift for a horse-crazy daughter.