My rating: 4/5
Donald believes he knows all there is to know about seeing. An optometrist in suburban Boston, he is sure that he and his wife, Viv, who runs the local stables, are both devoted to their two children and to each other. Then Mercury—a gorgeous young thoroughbred with a murky past—arrives at Windy Hill and everything changes
Mercury’s owner, Hilary, is a newcomer to town who has enrolled her daughter in riding lessons. When she brings Mercury to board at Windy Hill, everyone is struck by his beauty and prowess, particularly Viv. As she rides him, Viv begins to dream of competing again, embracing the ambitions that she had harbored, and relinquished, as a young woman. Her daydreams soon morph into consuming desire, and her infatuation with the thoroughbred escalates to obsession.
Donald may have 20/20 vision but he is slow to notice how profoundly Viv has changed and how these changes threaten their quiet, secure world. By the time he does, it is too late to stop the catastrophic collision of Viv’s ambitions and his own myopia.
“Surely everyone feels like that sometimes. Like inside us are two people who want completely different things” (158)“I don’t think forgiveness should involve forgetting” (220)“just a person who made a terrible mistake and who has to live with that day after day, knowing he can never ever go back and undo it” (220)“Perhaps in some other language there is a word for that state of mind one discovers upon first waking after a terrible event. For barely a fraction of a second everything seems the same. Then there it is, the awful ‘it’, and the world’s utterly altered” (225)“What is past is prologue. Study the past” (278)