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Book Club Kits: The Horse Whisperer

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

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Book Summary

A forty-ton truck hurtles out of control on a snowy country road, a teenage girl on horseback in its path. In a few terrible seconds the life of a family is shattered. And a mother’s quest begins–to save her maimed daughter and a horse driven mad by pain. It is an odyssey that will bring her to the Horse Whisperer.

He is the stuff of legend. His voice can calm wild horses and his touch heal broken spirits. For secrets uttered softly into pricked and troubled ears, such men were once called Whisperers. Now Tom Booker, the inheritor of this ancient gift, is to meet his greatest challenge.

Annie Graves has traveled across a continent with her daughter, Grace, and their wounded horse, Pilgrim, to the Booker ranch in Montana. Annie has risked everything–her career, her marriage, her comfortable life–in her desperate belief that the Whisperer can help them. The accident has turned Pilgrim savage. He is now so demented and dangerous that everyone says he should be destroyed. But Annie won’t give up on him, for she feels his fate is inextricably entwined with that of her daughter, who has retreated into a heartrending, hostile silence. Annie knows that if the horse dies, something in Grace will die too.

In the weeks to come, under the massive sky of the Rocky Mountain Front, all their lives–including Tom Booker’s–will be transformed forever in a way none could have foretold. At once an epic love story and a gripping adventure, The Horse Whisperer weaves an extraordinary tale of healing and redemption–a magnificent emotional journey that explores our ancient bonds with earth and sky and hearts untamed. It is a stirring elegy to the power of belief and self-discovery, to hopes lost and found again.

Read an excerpt from the novel.


Discussion Questions

  • The circumstances that sets the book in motion is called the inciting moment.  What was the inciting moment of this book?

  • At what point in the story does Annie Graves become sympathetic?

  • Describe the character development.  Who did you identify with?  Did your opinions about any of the characters change over the course of the novel?

  • How are the names in the novel significant?

  • How does the author use language and imagery to bring the characters to life?  Di the book’s characters or style in any way remind you of another book?

  • How is rural life depicted as superior to city life in the story?

  • Do you think the setting, both time and location, played a large role in this novel?  Could it have happened anywhere, at any time?

  • What do you believe is the message the author is trying to convey to the reader?  What did you learn from this book?  Was it educational in any way?

  • How is Annie different from the other women who pursue Tom?  Why is Annie able to affect him?

  • How is the love between Tom and Annie different from the love they feel for their spouses?

  • What heals Grace and Pilgrim?

  • Is there a part of the novel you didn’t understand?  Are you confused by a character’s actions of the outcome of an event?

  • Why does Tom die?

  • Does the novel end happily?  Did it end the way you expected?

  • How did this book touch your life?  Can you relate to it on any level?

  • What is your favorite passage?