By Alyson Hagy
Graywolf Press, $24.00, 251 pages

This is More Than a Cowboy Story

Author Alyson Hagy’s novel Boleto is a story about growing up. William Testerman is a 23-year-old man filled with conflicting emotions. His mom is battling cancer, and his dad is disappointed that Will is not a businessman like his brothers. But Will has a remarkable connection with horses and the nature that surrounds him. The story follows Will on his journey as he leaves Wyoming with a few belongings and a newly purchased filly. His travels take him to California, where he gets involved in the sport of polo.

Readers will enjoy the poetic elements found throughout Hagy’s writing. It is clear she understands both human and animal nature. The descriptive passages are heartfelt and tender. Her characters are believable, and the relationship between Will and his horse is genuine. Fans of stories about the American West and cowboys will be delighted with this book. Others who are new to the genre should expect some slow parts. The pacing is similar to a horse ride. Sometimes a horse trots quickly, while at other times ambles slowly. But the journey and the experiences are what are memorable in the end.

Reviewed by  Elizabeth Franklin