Title: The Horse Boy
Author: Rupert Isaacson
Genre: Non-Fiction / Memoir / Travel Pages: 319
First published: 2009
Edition: Paperback, published by Penguin in 2010
The Isaacsons left their home in Texas and travelled to the plains and mountains of Mongolia – the spiritual home of the horse – risking everything – their happiness, future and sanity – on an arduous epic horseback journey in search of a cure for Rowan . . .
Trying to put my thoughts together on this book is not easy. There were elements I loved and bits that I did not. I loved the travel side of it and the idea of parents going to the ends of the world to find healing for their son.
However, the way the author spoke about his son’s autism did not quite sit well with me. I have a couple of friends who have children on the autistic spectrum and I would love to discuss this book with them and in particular the parents’ relationship to the fact that they have an autistic son. My own conclusion is that the parents needed as much healing from their negativity as their son did from his autism. Maybe that was partly the point the author was trying to make, but if that is the case it was not clear enough for me. The tone is sometimes just a touch too pretentious.
Having said that, I did enjoy this book and it was definitely worth reading. I loved finding out more about Mongolia and about the healing offered by Shamanism. Isaacson did make it sound like an amazing place and I definitely appreciated that.
Whether their son was helped by the shamans or by the fact his parents just learned to relate to him better (more positively) is a different discussion, and I guess it does not really matter. As a mother of a challenging child myself, I know how hard it can be to do the right thing for your child. Sometimes it is hard to find the right path, but I do feel these parents did just that.
5 out of 7 stars