Think of Horses


Think of Horses

A Novel

Mary Clearman Blew

294 pages


September 2022


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2022


$21.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)

(Requires Adobe Digital Editions)

September 2022


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

2023 Western Heritage Award for the Western Novel 

At age seventeen Tam Bowen left her Montana home in disgrace after giving birth to a son out of wedlock. After working her way through college, she settled in Portland, Oregon, where she began making a living for herself and her son by writing soft-porn romance novels. Now, at fifty, Tam is estranged from her son and deeply depressed. She has returned to the cabin in Montana’s Big Snowy Mountains where she grew up, to ponder the choices she has made in her life. At first dismayed by the many changes she finds in the mountain community, Tam gradually makes a few friends and becomes increasingly involved in the lives of two troubled teenagers, who draw her back into the horsemanship she turned away from so many years ago. For Tam, horses provide a sense of stability amid the uncertainty of her new-old life and expose the vulnerability of all the folks who struggle with the vagaries of a tough place.

Author Bio

Mary Clearman Blew is the author or editor of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including the three previous novels in her Montana quartet: Waltzing Montana (set in 1925), Sweep Out the Ashes (set in 1975), and Ruby Dreams of Janis Joplin (set in 2012), all published by the University of Nebraska Press. She is professor emerita of English at the University of Idaho and has won numerous awards, including the Western Literature Association’s Distinguished Achievement Award.


"Blew doesn't shy from the characters' imperfections, charging a vivid novel of resilience and regret, and the unspoken ways in which connection shapes the experience of life."—Leah Strauss, Booklist

"Exemplifying the maxim that 'If you don't like who you are . . . you can always be somebody else,' Think of Horses is a redemptive novel set in the contemporary American West."—Foreword Reviews

"Filled with a cast of rich characters from Tam’s past and mountain landscape that transports you there, this book is well worth a look."—Linda Jacobs, Roundup Magazine

“Mary Clearman Blew’s Think of Horses is many things—a compelling mystery, a moving story of a mother and son reunited after years of separation, a tale of the difficulties of returning to one’s childhood home. Through the lives of her rich and various characters, Blew creates a shimmering ambiguity concerning human desire and its power to harm and heal, to devastate and fulfill.”—Kent Meyers, author of Twisted Tree

Think of Horses, the newest of Mary Clearman Blew’s novels about the American West, is a stellar finale to her Montana quartet. Blew launches us into the core of a community at loggerheads with itself. The protagonist, Tam Bowen, a writer of romance novels who embraces a passion for horses, harbors a thorny past that includes a murdered family friend and a son who shuns her. As Tam grapples with her disappointments and thwarted dreams, she finds solace and adventure in tackling the troubles of others. Evoking a striking Montana landscape and intricately braiding her multilayered story, Blew delivers a captivating read with her characteristic sharply detailed, exquisite writing. I relished every page.”—Joy Passanante, author of Through a Long Absence: Words from My Father’s Wars

“In a startlingly original work of grit and love, Mary Clearman Blew delivers a compelling story full of tough, flinty, vulnerable people who are impossible to predict. The result is a new Western masterpiece that keeps you turning the pages.”—D. J. Lee, author of Remote: Finding Home in the Bitterroots


2023 Western Heritage Award for a Western Novel 

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