Book Review – At Home on a Horse in the Woods: a Memoir – Janet Wolanin Alexander
This memoir is a cleverly constructed series of short essays and poems which are not arranged in a strictly chronological order.
Instead we jump straight in at an epiphany and Jan’s trail rides. A series of interesting stories of trail riding, many of which have been published in Trail Blazer, The Trail Rider and Endurance News.
This is truly a book of journeys.
I am not just talking of the 50 or so trail rides, poems and stories that Jan shares with us, these detail the highlights, the danger, the heartwarming, the ordinary and in some cases frankly unsavoury aspects of trail riding.
From riding in the summer, in the snow, through mud, with a variety of wildlife, insects and a fair amount of riding at night, we get to see the landscape of Indiana through Jan’s eyes.
She introduces to her lovely horses, past and present, who have been her trusty trail companions and the many human friends she has made.
We are treated to a childhood journey of yearning for horses and how Jan eventually achieved that goal in her early adulthood. There is also a spiritual journey occurring, you get a real sense of Jan finding inspiration and an appreciation of her faith during her rides.
We get an insight into her journey of living with horses and how much they have shaped her life and post retirement career of making stunning horsehair jewellery.
And last but not least we understand Jan’s creative writing journey, her participation in writing groups ands growing confidence which led to the creation of this memoir.
I always love hearing about other people’s lives with horses, and thoroughly enjoyed reading Jan’s story.I am sure there are a few more interesting trail ride tales to be told and hope that Jan writes them down and shares them with us.
Jan’s book can be purchased from Wordery by clicking the link below (cheaper than amazon)