Falling From Horses is my second favorite book of 2014. This book has everything going for it; ranching in eastern Oregon, the Great Depression, and Hollywood movie-making.
Young Bud Frazer has decamped from his hardscrabble ranching childhood to make his way in Hollywood as a stunt rider in the movies. Along the way he makes a friend of Lily, an aspiring screenwriter. Falling From Horses is filled with some of the finest writing this side of the Pecos. Sentence after sentence begs for rereading, they are so perfect, her choice of phrasing, so fresh. I didn't want this book to end.
“Falling from Horses is the story of a young man, a young woman, and a young Hollywood set against the memories of growing up in eastern Oregon, among the horses, cattle, and hard work it takes to live there. Bud, the son of ranchers, buys a bus ticket to Hollywood to be a rider in cowboy movies. On the way he meets Lily Shaw, a sassy screenwriter, and their lives become intertwined with the telling of what led him to leave home. Brutal and beautiful, Falling from Horses is filled with stunning descriptions of the world of early movie making and the landscapes that shape us.”
— Rene Kirkpatrick, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA
"A beautiful, moving novel, cut from the American heartwood." --Ursula K. Le Guin, author of Lavinia and The Unreal and the Real
"I read Falling from Horses in two gulps . . . I could not have loved it more." -- Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Bookclub and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves"Clear-eyed, breathtaking . . . A moving story filled with heart and insight." -- Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Samurai's Garden"A hypnotic read." -- Kirkus Reviews In 1938, nineteen-year-old ranch hand Bud Frazer sets out for Hollywood, his sights set on becoming a stunt rider in the movies--and rubbing shoulders with the great screen cowboys of his youth. On the long bus ride south from Echol Creek, Bud meets a young woman who also harbors dreams of making it in the movies, not as a starlet but as a writer. Lily Shaw is bold and outspoken, more confident than her small frame and bookish looks seem to allow. The two strike up an unlikely kinship that will carry them through their tumultuous days in Hollywood. Through the wide eyes and lofty dreams of two people trying to make their mark on the world, Molly Gloss weaves a remarkable tale of humans and horses, hope and heartbreak, told by one of the most winning narrators ever to walk off the page.