Book Review: Out Of The Wild
Out Of The Wild
By Mark Rashid
Trafalgar Square Books, 2016
Reviewed by Margaret Evans
When cattle rancher Henry McBride falls asleep at the wheel of his truck and drives off an embankment killing his wife and son, his life is shattered into an endless guilt-ridden torment dulled only by booze. Leaving everything behind, he drifts for years, earning just enough for the next tank of gas and the next bottle of whiskey.
In the mesa lands of Nevada, a wild three-year-old stallion has reached an age when his interest in the band’s mares leads him into direct conflict with the herd’s patriarch, his own sire. Driven from the band and badly wounded by the savage bites of the stallion, the young colt flees, tumbling down a cliff and adding to his injuries. It would be the last time he would see the only band he knew as he drifts painfully into the wild mesas.
Fate brings Henry and the wild colt to the gates of the Lazy K, a dude horse ranch run by Jessie King, who has a deep and abiding passion and knowledge of horses. As Henry struggles with his demons, he now must also struggle with the demeaning nature of a job that brings this well-honed cowboy into the world of equestrian tourism, and into the home of the woman who sees more in him than he dares to see in himself.
But it is in the young stallion that Henry finds identity. The colt bears scars that could only have come from a savage encounter in his life. Henry, still tormented by anguish and guilt, bears the painful, emotional wounds from that fateful day that led to the loss of his family. It would be Jessie who sees in both a kindred spirit, a chance to help them heal, and perhaps for all three of them, a chance at a life none has dared to dream.
Out Of The Wild by rancher, veteran horse trainer, and clinician Mark Rashid is a rich and emotionally powered novel of love lost, a love and understanding of horses, and a rich tapestry of a fragile way of life threatened by the undercurrent of jealousy and revenge.
Rashid brings to the story his impeccable knowledge of horses, their abilities to learn and adapt, and their unbounded instinct to survive. He applies his vast experience of ranching, managing livestock, and the cowboy way of life to the narrative to bring a depth and sense of credibility and integrity to his characters, both human and horse. The detailed level of the narrative underscores everything that it means to be human, to be a wild horse in a human world, and to dare to love and dream again.
Out Of The Wild is a fabulous read. The book is the basis for a film of the same name. Check out more on the movie website.