×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Horsefever
     

Horsefever

by Lee Hope
 

Fiction. Nikole Swensen has the drive and raw talent to compete in the rigorous sport of horse eventing—and win. But fear holds her back from realizing her full potential. So her husband, a wealthy Vermont landowner, hires Gabe, a gifted former eventer, half paralyzed from a jumping accident. Before long, a powerful spiritual and physical attraction develops

Overview


Fiction. Nikole Swensen has the drive and raw talent to compete in the rigorous sport of horse eventing—and win. But fear holds her back from realizing her full potential. So her husband, a wealthy Vermont landowner, hires Gabe, a gifted former eventer, half paralyzed from a jumping accident. Before long, a powerful spiritual and physical attraction develops between Nikki and Gabe amid the sensual world of horses and riding. As Nikki moves to higher levels of competition, their respective spouses, Cliff and Carla, grow jealous. The two couples become lost in a tangle of ambition and passion, lust and suspicion. Inspired by an actual murder case, HORSEFEVER will penetrate the hearts of suspense lovers, horse lovers, athletes, and all those drawn to the connections between animals and humans.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/30/2015
The passions of four very determined, very different people collide with tragic results in Hope’s first novel, set in the highly competitive world of equine eventing (or horse trials). Vermont property developer Cliff Swensen indulges wife Nikki’s love of horses, even though he fears the dangers of eventing courses. He even looks to hire a new trainer for her. Gabe was a promising eventer until a bad riding accident left him with nerve damage to the left side of his body—face, arm, and leg. Gabe’s wife, Carla, pushes him to apply for the job even though he’s never been a trainer. With Gabe’s help, Nikki and her horse, Beau, begin to progress, and Gabe and Nikki’s shared passion for eventing becomes a worry for Cliff and Carla. Tensions escalate as Gabe and Nikki’s accomplishments and ambitions grow, and Cliff and Carla’s suspicions lead to accidents and escalating arguments. Hope handles the equine parts beautifully, though the violent conclusion is less than satisfying. Agent: Philip Spitzer, Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Library Journal
02/01/2016
Forty-year-old Nikki is obsessed with horse eventing; dangerous, multiday meets riding over jumps on spirited horses. Her wealthy property developer husband, Cliff, knows that when Nikki was a child her older sister died falling off a horse and the sister's loss destroyed her family. He is terrified that Nikki will hurt herself, so for their 15th wedding anniversary he buys her the services of a trainer. Gabe is a former international eventer who was severely disabled when a horse rolled on him and has tried to come to terms with his physical loss through meditation. Under his tutelage Nikki's riding improves but buried emotional issues start to roil to the surface for all, including growing jealousy between the couples: Gabe and his wife, Carla, and Nikki and Cliff. Working together as trainer and athlete, Nikki and Gabe demonstrate the passion necessary for international-level athletes, but they dance perilously close to the line where obsession becomes unhealthy and possibly dangerous. VERDICT An exciting insider portrayal of the affluent and insular world of horse eventing along with a moving portrait of two marriages and the costs of trying for athletic perfection.—Jan Marry, Williamsburg Regional Lib., VA
Kirkus Reviews
2015-11-17
In her debut novel, Hope explores what happens when characters obsessed with the world of horse eventing have to choose between competition and personal relationships. Nikki is an accomplished dressage and steeplechase competitor struggling to conquer her high-spirited horse; her lack of confidence has kept her from competing at the highest national and international levels. Her aloof husband, Cliff, jealous of her love for horses but unable to deny her passion, "buys" her a horse trainer for their 15th anniversary. Gabe is half paralyzed following a riding accident, but in Nikki, he sees his second chance to compete vicariously at the highest level. Despite injuries both human and equine, Nikki and Gabe's relationship deepens, making their spouses angry and leading, ultimately, to violence and tragedy. As in professional ballet, there is a particular romanticism that surrounds the world of competitive riding. Hope strips this away to reveal the sordid, corrupt, and obsessive underbelly that lies beneath the polished, trained surface. Some of the offhand comments about the complicated relationships between horse owners with money and the riders/trainers who work for them provide a deeper lens into the dysfunction, but most of the action seems more like a soap opera than the exploration of a competitive sport. The riding takes a back seat to the rather uninteresting questions of whether Nikki and Gabe are going to sleep together and whether their spouses, punishing them pre-emptively, would really care that much. Ultimately, we don't either. The horses end up the most interesting characters in the novel because they are granted more unpredictable personalities, and their "dark urges [and] bright lusts" seem much purer than those of their human counterparts. Even those who love horses, or perhaps especially those who love horses, will eventually be disillusioned by the flat, manipulative characters.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780898233322
Publisher:
New Rivers Press
Publication date:
02/01/2016
Pages:
355
Sales rank:
1,150,107
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author


Lee Hope is editor-in-chief of Solstice: A Magazine of Diverse Voices (SolLitMag). Her fiction has received a Theodore Goodman Award, a Pennsylvania Council of the Arts Fellowship, and a Maine Arts Commission Fellowship. She has published stories in numerous literary journals, such as: Witness, The New Virginia Review, The North American Review, Epiphany, and Sou'wester. Her short story "What to Take in Case of Fire" received an honorable mention in AMERICAN FICTION VOLUME 13 (New Rivers Press, 2014), winner of the 2015 Midwest Book Award for an anthology. Lee founded and directed a low- residency MFA program in Maine and played a role in founding Pine Manor College's MFA program. She has taught creative writing and literature at various universities. She is currently president of the Solstice Institute for Creative Writing, a nonprofit, and she teaches for Changing Lives Through Literature, which brings literature to people on probation.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews