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Horses Never Lie about Love: The Heartwarming Story of a Remarkable Horse Who Changed the World Around Her Hardcover – November 1, 2011

3.2 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I lost track of all time and space once I opened this incisive, eloquent, sometimes lyrical, sometimes comic book. The story of True Colors and the raising up and training of her foals mesmerized me. Harris's memoir won my heart."
-- Maxine Kumin, Poet Laureate, 1981-1982

“Most horse books are practical, but a surprisingly large proportion of the literature focuses on the spiritual relationship between horses and women. Jana Harris’s inspiring memoir about her relationship with True Colors, a Thoroughbred mare whose problems are offset by her success as a broodmare, explores the psychological aspect of their bond, but what sets this book apart from the others is that the author also provides an enormous amount of practical information about her education in the art of raising horses. We struggle right alongside her as she copes with serious medical and behavioral issues and we share her joy in welcoming each new foal. The author has succeeded in making the reader part of her dream, and this is a remarkable accomplishment.”

-- Barbara Burn, author of The Horseless Rider and 101 Dressage Tips and co-author of The Whole Horse Catalog.

"I could not put down this engrossing, beautiful book and savored every page. Harris’s writing is so delicious that I could feel the country breeze, smell the hay, and hear the horses nickering. Her characters are so real and colorful that you’ll be captivated immediately. Each animal has a unique personality, likes, and dislikes. This book is a treasure, to be re-read over and over again. A lovely, delightful experience."

--Stacey O’Brien, author of Wesley the Owl

“With lyrical writing and a gift for drawing in the reader from the first sentence, Jana Harris has created a memoir that any equine-enthusiast would devour and any reader unfamiliar with horses would find identifiable. The love Harris has for horses is palpable on the page and every chapter made me fall in love with her memorable horses and their incredible story.”

--Jessica Burkhart, author of the Canterwood Crest series

"I fell in love, page after page, with Jana Harris' horses and the rough landscape where she raises them, following with her the pain, doubts, and joys of tending them, not unlike what I experienced with the pigs and goats that I once tended."

-- Georgeanne Brennan, author of A Pig in Provence

“What a beautiful book Jana Harris has written about the horses--remarkably individual, lovingly described and given life by her incandescent prose--that have entered her life! Horses Never Lie about Love is also an intimate portrait of a marriage--the story of Jana and Mark and their family of horses through the years. It's a tender book, often a funny book; sad, heartrending, uplifting, exuberant and suffused with hope.”

-- Joyce Carol Oates

About the Author

 Jana Harris is a poet, novelist, short story writer, and essayist who teaches creative writing at the University of Washington and is a Washington State Governor’s Writers Award and Andres Berger Award winner, as well as a PEN West Center Award finalist. She won a Pushcart Prize for poetry in 2001 and is editor and founder of Switched-on Gutenberg, one of the first electronic global poetry journals. She lives in the Cascade Mountains with her husband, where they raise horses.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Book Club edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451605846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451605846
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,395,780 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I was very disappointed in this book. From what I heard, I expected it to be an in-depth story about a particular horse and how she and the author bonded. Instead, this book was all about the author, and it never appeared that True Colors particularly bonded with her owners. To me this book never "gelled" into a story - it read more like a diary of the passing years and months and what hardships the author and her husband had to put up with in order to fullfil the "dream" of a horse farm. I kept waiting for the "heartwarming" part as the book was advertised - now we'll see some stories about how much the horses loved and interacted with their owners! But that never came across. It seemed rather prideful to me that someone would, in order to create her dream, cause countless animals to be bred, bring horses together into a herd, and then sell them for indiscriminate reasons while commenting that the horses seemed to miss each other, and while claiming to feel sad to see them go. This seems to be how the horse world is, but to me you can't have it both ways - you can't rhapsodize about the horses' connections and how much they mean to you, and then sell them because they eat too much or are getting lame or don't do the kind of trotting you like (all of which are reasons various horses go during this book). I don't mean to be harsh but by the time I made it 3/4 through the book, which took awhile because I kept putting it down, I honestly was rather sickened and could only skim the remainder. I would NOT recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Jana Harris is an entertaining writer and I did enjoy her book, but she's most definitely not cut out for horses. Jana's writing was charming, funny and creative. For example describing a particular horse with "the mind of a Jaguar and the body of a Mack truck." I liked her reference to using "one syllable words." And no end to the graphicly descriptive words, all of which enhanced the visual and audio of the scene. I finally got used to her referring to her horses as Mom, True Colors, T.C. or Kells, K., Kellikins, Kelly, Mr. K, etc.

Unfortunately, Jana annoyed me, in fact I disliked her. That she's a drama junkie, an uppity snob, hasn't the confidence, patience and know-how to handle young or untrained horses, is an accomplished people user, and is generally distrustful and suspicious of horses, got in the way of my liking the book more than I did. And her remark about Pit Bull dogs irked me. She was also openly critical of people she felt beneath her. But she's a great writer!

Might I suggest she try raising and showing Miniture Poodles.
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By Ceecee on January 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've always followed the rule that you can learn something from anyone, even if what not to do. This book is a blueprint for how NOT to work with horses. The author has superior holier-than-thou, snobbery abounds attitude. The characters in the book are described in a gossipy, innuendo laden manner. I can find nothing remotely connected with "love" in the half of this book I read (just couldn't stomach any more of it). Nor any willingness to learn. Totally disregarding the thousands of unwanted and abused "papered" horses that are sent to slaughter every year, the author repeatedly and randomly breeds and discards animals. I can only say I wouldn't want this woman around any of my horses. Save your time, money and disgust and look for something by Susan Richard, Joe Camp, or Mark Rashid. Try the Eighty Dollar Champion, the story of Snowman or Beyond the Backstretch for a compassionate knowledgeable read.
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Format: Hardcover
I have always loved horses so I was anxious to read this book. In this touching book the author shares the story of True Colors a Thoroughbred horse whom she purchased from The Rocking D Ranch in May 1986. The situation was less than ideal on the ranch, the horses were allowed to run on the range and had never really been handled and were afraid of people. There was one mare that stood out for Jana Harris because of the way the horse guarded her foal. That mare turned out to be a beautiful horse named True Colors. Ms. Harris purchases True Colors and her foal along with another foal that was yet to be born, to be delivered to her farm later. While the foals were delivered on time, the breeders kept putting her off regarding the delivery of True Colors. When True Colors was finally delivered to the farm, she didn't look like the same horse. Her face had been burned and she had a persistent cough because she had gotten to close to wildfires that were going on near the Rocking D ranch.

The story the author shares in her book"Horses Never Lie About Love" is a touching story of how the author thru loving care and patience finally gained the trust of True Colors and how True Colors touched everyone around her. I really loved reading not only about True Colors but also the other horses on the Harris ranch. There was the two foals that she purchased named BeDazzeled which she nicknamed Miss Piggy and Abercrombie which she nicknamed Kermit as well as two older horses who were already on the ranch.

Reading this story I couldn't help but fall in love with the horses on Ms. Harris' ranch. She easily allows the reader to see the individual personalities of her horses and takes us along while she gains their trust. The pictures that she includes really allowed me to connect with the horses. A heart touching, wonderfully well written memoir that I am certain that I will pick up and reread. Recommended
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