Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer Review

Title: Rough Magic: Riding in the World’s Loneliest Horserace

Author: Lara Palmer-Prior

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Nonfiction

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve been trying to expand my literary horizons recently; after I read Bad Blood, I’ve been developing a taste for the nonfiction genre. I’d heard of Rough Magic before it came out, and it’s been sitting in my library stack for a while. I pushed it to the top of my stack right after I was finished with City of Girls. Lara Palmer-Prior’s frank, honest and compelling voice drew me in immediately; I was transfixed. I’ve loved horses since I was a little girl, and going back into that with this memoir felt like coming home. And honestly, I’m in awe of just the pure grit of this girl, entering one of the world’s most dangerous horse races, as an antidote for post-schooling restlessness. Vivid, hilarious, and inspiring, Rough Magic was a great book; I felt like I was transported to the colorful, stark landscape of the steppe she rides across. I finished this book a few days ago, and it took some time to gather my thoughts. But I will never forget Rough Magic, and I’m happy to tell you all that I’m growing fond of the nonfiction genre.

               Lara Prior-Palmer grew up around horses, as her mother and aunt are both passionate horsewomen. After graduating from college, she drifts aimlessly, uncertain of her purpose in life. On a lark, she enters a horse race that takes place halfway across the world, on the steppe of Mongolia, certain that she’s found her solution. Woefully unprepared and unsure of what to expect, Lara must tap deep into her inner strength in order to complete the race. Rough Magic chronicles the days before, during, and after the race. Honest, raw, funny, and wonderful, I was absolutely enchanted. Horses are one of my favorite animals, and it was so nice to read the experience of someone who loves them as much as I do. This book was, hands down, inspiring. I mean, to go across the whole of Mongolia on horseback? It really takes some guts to do something so daring. And honestly, I’m so happy with this book. I can’t wait to see more from Lara Prior-Palmer! I loved it, and it was so real that I kept getting thirsty, I imagined myself covered in sand and grit. This memoir is exemplary, and I can only hope that there’s more in store for this warrior of a woman! I can say with confidence that I will be reading whatever she writes next. The bottom line: Gritty, raw, and inspiring, I loved Rough Magic! What an amazing debut memoir! Next on deck: Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner!

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