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I'm not sure how I missed this title when it was first released in the audio version, but I am glad I had the chance to listen as an early holiday season bonus.
I've read some of Evans' other novels - "The Horse Whisperer" and "The Loop", but from my perspective I have to say that "The Brave" is his best. The story successfully combines the disparate elements of damaging family history and secrets, self-evolving learning experiences, and respect for nature, all in the varied settings of England in the 60's, the Hollywood scene, and the spiritual presence in the wilds of Montana.
I think Evans' writing has been niched by some into western novels and horse stories, when what he really writes about is the broader human condition. Some might say the geographical and social scope of "The Brave" is too ambitious for a novel of its size, but I would disagree and say that the author handles the diverse settings with precision and with just enough detail to keep the story relatable and the reader inspired.
This novel has struck a chord with me, maybe because I was a teenager in the England of the same period in which Tommy grew up, and have a correspondingly broad scope of settings in my background - England, California, New England, and Central America.
The narration and production are superb, particularly the introductory music and reading of the poem "Men In White Hats" by Shane Van Clois. I didn't quite get the connection at first, but as I read further the mythical cowboy character and the symbolic white cowboy hat began to resonate.
The segues forward and back in time periods were not troublesome for me as a reader, and I quickly acclimated to the rhythm of these transitions.
Great book, and I intend to listen again.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
The moral/truism as stated/revealed at the end made the rest of the book seem overwrought.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful