Review º The Mare 102

Characters The Mare

Review º The Mare 102 ☆ Following her National Book Award–nominated Veronica here is Mary Gaitskill’s most poignant and powerful work yet—the story of a Dominican girl the Anglo woman who introduces her to riding and the horse who changes everything for her   Velveteen Vargas is eleven years old a Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn Her host family is a Tic older boy who awakens Velvet’s nascent passion The Mare traces Velvet’s journey between the vital violent world of the inner city and the world of the small town stable   In Gaitskill’s hands the timeless story of a girl and a horse is joined with a timely story of people from different races and classes trying to meet one another honestly The Mare is raw heart stirring and original From the Hardcover editi. This review can also be found at Carole's Random LifeI didn't really know much about this story before I decided to give it a try I think I really wanted to get lost in a story that was focused on a horse I did end up getting completely pulled into this story but I uickly found out that this story really isn't about a horse Sure there is a horse in the story but this is really a story about a group of people tied to one another just trying to get through life This book was very different that I thought it would be but it ended up taking me on a fantastic journeyThis story is told from four different points of view For Velvet this book really is a coming of age story Velvet starts the story as an eleven year old Dominican girl from a poor family She goes to stay with a family for a couple of weeks in the summer as part of the Fresh Air fund Ginger also learns a lot about herself during the course of the story She is a recovering alcoholic who has never had children but decides to be a host family for the program Paul goes through a lot of changes during the story He is a professor and sometimes is a little hesitant to be so involved with Velvet so much as compared to his wife The fourth point of view comes from Velvet's mother who is a single mother trying to support her two children alone in a country where she is not able to speak the language Velvet's mom is difficult to like but by the end of the story I felt that I understood her even if I didn't agree with how she chose to do thingsThis book is beautiful in many ways and heartbreaking in others I found at the beginning of the story that I really liked the parts of the book told by Velvet I wanted hear her thoughts about riding horses and her attraction to that one special horse Fiery girl As I learned about Velvet's life at home in the city I found myself wanting to cheer her on and encourage her Ginger took a while to grow on me but the that I understood her the I found myself able to understand why she was so determined to be a part of Velvet's life She really did care about the girl and the connection between them felt very real to me I loved the horses in the story and all of the people at the stable Velvet's connection to the animals and the pride she had in riding them was beautifully writtenThe four narrators of the audiobook did an amazing job Each voice was very distinctive and really brought the characters to life If I had been reading a paper copy of this book these four voices would have been exactly as I would have imagined the characters to sound The emotions of each of the characters really came through in the narration Velvet and her mother both were very animated and their feelings were usually on the surface Ginger and Paul were guarded and the narrators did a wonderful job of expressing that aspect of their personality I think that the four narrators really worked well when everything came together in the book I really think that they all did an eually wonderful job and liked all of their styles I never had a favorite of the group or one I didn't want to hear I actually think that the alternating narrators really helped the different viewpoints work well in this audiobook I really enjoyed this story All of the things that Velvet her mother Ginger and Paul go through during the span of the story really kept my interest level high I never felt like the story lagged at any point The pacing was well done with parts of the book devoted to character development and others sections that moved the plot forward There were than a few parts of the book that made me cringe but I think that those parts really helped make the story feel realistic This is a book that really gets its strength from its characters The characters in the book are all very flawed and seem very lifelike to meI would highly recommend this audiobook to others I think that I got out of the story by going the audio route because the narrators really did a superb job This is the first book by Mary Gaitskill that I have read and I plan to look for her works in the future I received a review copy of this book from Blackstone Audio via Audiobook Jukebox for the purpose of providing an honest reviewInitial ThoughtsI liked this one a lot The story was very involved with a lot of layers The characters were all very flawed and realistic This book was narrated by 4 individuals and the narration was superbly done Each of the narrators really helped bring the books characters to life and tell the story

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R academic husband Paul who wonder what it will mean to “make a difference” in such a contrived situation Gaitskill illuminates their shifting relationship with Velvet over several years as well as Velvet’s  encounter with the horses at the stable down the road especially with an abused unruly mare called Fugly Girl With strong supporting characters Velvet’s abusive mother an eccentric horse trainer a charisma. A mare and a young girl Two battered souls who found each other and together they conuered the world At first I thought I'm dropping this book as soon as some sentimental emotional manipulation of the reader shows its annoying face I wasn't in the mood for something like Lassy Comes Home in horsy language I was in the mood for a cozy nice relaxing read But no frills no fuzz pleaseWhat a wake up call Alas I turned out to be so deeply involved in the story of the disadvantage 11 year old Dominican girl from Crown Heights Brooklyn who received an opportunity through the Fresh Air Fund to visit a couple in upstate New York for two weeksA field filled with unattended emotional landmines lay waiting for Velvet her single mother Silvia her brother Danté and the couple Paul and Ginger Somewhere in the middle their worlds collided the inner city harshness against the gentle bucolic calmness Ginger's need for children drove her to compete with Silvia for Velvet's attention and soul Abusive Silvia could not compete with Ginger's gentle onslaught Between these two women a young girl tried to find her way in both worlds Velvet fell in love with Ginger's world but knew she did not belong there; she despised the world she was coming from but could not escape it The complexities in all the characters made the journey through a field of deadly social and emotional traps much challenging The two weeks ended up being several years in which Velvet became a young woman As far as she proceeded within both worlds different landmines exploded racism prejudice jealousy ignorance competition language barriers gangsterism cultural differences abuse the list goes on and on Nobody could be trusted in any of Velvet's two worlds All the people involved were deeply flawed human beings with limited coping skills which makes this story so much endearing Even Fugly Girl a uarter horse thoroughbred mix had her own backstory preventing her from trusting humans But the moment she met Velvet her story began a new chapter For both young girl and horse a new dawn broke A magic recognition of each other's hurt and insecurities took place with no words in human language needed This is a tough read The story is as much character as plot driven Four protagonists carry this deeply compassionate moving tale towards the sober but dignified ending A monumental climax to a tumultuous journey No winners no losers apart from Velveteen and Fugly Girl Only reality got the chance to push the reset button in the endABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED

Mary Gaitskill ↠ 2 Read

The MareFollowing her National Book Award–nominated Veronica here is Mary Gaitskill’s most poignant and powerful work yet the story of a Dominican girl the Anglo woman who introduces her to riding and the horse who changes everything for her   Velveteen Vargas is eleven years old a Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn Her host family is a couple in upstate New York Ginger a failed artist and shakily recovered alcoholic and he. Audiobooknarrated by Kyla Garcia Christa Lewis Sean Pratt and Nicol Zanzarellaand the physical hardcover I loved BOTH the AUDIOBOOK and THE PHYSICAL BOOK The four Audiobook narrators were each excellent telling Velvet’s story Each voice was so different and distinct adding zesty seasonings of moods emotions points of view and atmosphere enriching the novel as it unfolds The physical book was great too — allowing a different type of personal intimacy between me the reader and the characters a little deeper I was able to ‘stop’ in mid sentence and reflect easier than when the audiobook continued to run But I really Love BOTH CHOICESTHIS IS SUCH A HEARTFELT NOVELemotional in that everyone starts off so broken And everyone needs everyone This is the first book I’ve read by Mary Gaitskilland I look forward to reading of her booksWhat I especially love besides the storytelling the complexities explored was the way the author brings us into each of the characters inner dialogue We know how they are feeling and thinking sometimes very different than the way the behave saying things opposite from what they feel or reasons for holding back expressing honest thoughts Ginger and her husband Paul in their 40’s live in upstate New York in the country They have a tender relationship from having gone through hard times themselves Ginger is a shakily recovered alcoholic and not a hugely successful artist They were considering adopting an older child wanting to make a difference in a child’s life They had no children of their own So they become a host family at first just for a couple of weeks to Velveteen Vargas an 11 year old Dominican girla Fresh Air Fund kid from Brooklyn Velvet ends up staying longer than two weeks with Ginger and Paul A very unsettling relationship with Velvet’s biological mother is heartbreaking— yet there are surprises throughout this story Velvet has a special way with horses — she especially connects with an undisciplined uncontrollable abused mare called Fugly Girl Strong main and supporting charactersbut it’s the range of themes this book examines so well that stands out to me from shattered relationships poverty bullying physical verbal and sexual abuse racism jealousy competition mistrust neglect disappointments capturing so realistic how people hurtThis novel makes it so clear of why people need each other when they are hurting Connecting with others and animals who are also hurting — building a bond of closeness together is incredibly healingWonderful book