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The Horse Whisperer (1996, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans
The Smoke Jumper (1999, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans
The Divide (2007, Signet Classics) by Nicholas Evans
The Brave (2011, Simon & Schuster) by Nicholas Evans
The Loop (1999, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

While traveling through southwest England in 1993, Nicholas Evans met a blacksmith who told him tales of the horse whisperers who lived in the quieter parts of the country: people who were said to be able to speak to and heal troubled and injured horses. The stories inspired the to-be-author, who would enter a bidding war in 1994 with his debut novel.

There’s little debate that The Horse Whisperer sprung the career of Nicholas Evans, who passed away earlier this month from a heart attack at the age of 72.

Before writing his first novel, Evans studied Law at Oxford University, he was a top journalist at the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle, and he was an award-winning documentarian. It was while he was writing and producing documentaries about the arts, featuring leading artistic influencers like Francis Bacon, that he was inspired to write his first novel, which would become The Horse Whisperer.

Also in 1994, Evans was diagnosed with malignant skin cancer. For the rest of his life, he experienced a series of health problems, the latest of which had delayed him from writing a new book. His final book, The Brave, was released in 2011, though he later shared on his website that he was working on something new.

Throughout the rest of his life, Evans regularly referred to himself as “amazingly lucky” in what he was able to experience.

If you’re new to Nicholas Evans’ work, I strongly suggest starting with The Horse Whisperer.

But if you’ve already read this remarkable tale, see the list below for his other books, as well as the one I think you should read next. 

So, Which Book Should You Read after The Horse Whisperer

That’s actually a trick question because I haven’t revealed the one I would recommend to you yet—and that’s The Loop.



Mary Alice Monroe’s Summer Guests: Rescue Dogs, Horses and More

A Thoroughbred’s Harrowing Tale Sparks a Mystery at the Smithsonian in “Horse”

Rupert Isaacson’s ‘The Long Ride Home’ Follows an Autistic Boy’s Journey Around the World

Fireworks Ensue When Past Meets Present in “The Distance Home”

The Horse Whisperer (1996, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

The Horse Whisperer (1996, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

The Horse Whisperer follows the story of Annie Graves and her daughter, Grace, who travel across the country with Grace’s injured horse, Pilgrim, after Grace and Pilgrim were in a terrible accident involving a forty-ton truck in the snow. Annie was told of a man named Tom Booker, who was said to have received a family gift of horse whispering.

Putting all of her hopes into Tom, Annie risks it all by leaving her home and work to seek out the horse whisperer who might be able to help Pilgrim, and Grace, find peace. But when the torn-up family arrives at the ranch, they discover more than physical healing, but also redemption, acceptance, and love.

Despite his impressive work as a journalist and documentarian, Evans would forever be best-known for his 1996 debut, The Horse Whisperer.

The novel sold more than 15 million copies and was a bestseller in 20 countries, and it has been translated into more than 40 languages.

Movie lovers may recognize the book for its film adaptation of the same name, produced by and starring Robert Redford, as well as a young Scarlett Johansson.

Celebrating 25 years since its publication, a new “silver edition” of The Horse Whisperer has been released, as well, and is currently only available in the UK.


The Smoke Jumper (1999, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

The Smoke Jumper (1999, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

For those who loved the relationship and redemptive qualities of the characters in The Horse WhispererThe Smoke Jumper would be a solid choice as readers follow Connor Ford, who experiences unrequited love, danger and wishes for a fresh start.

Connor and his best friend, Ed, are both smoke jumpers, or firefighters who combat a wildfire by parachuting onto the scene. Connor finds himself falling in love with Ed’s partner, Julia Bishop, and while he knows that she loves him as only a best friend could, it isn’t enough.

But when an incredible tragedy takes place on Snake Mountain in Montana, Julia makes a decision that could change all of their lives forever. In its wake, Connor finds himself taking on riskier missions, assisting in putting out fires and taking impossible-to-get photographs on the ground, daring death, all while hoping there will be something better for him around the corner.


The Divide (2007, Signet Classics) by Nicholas Evans

The Divide (2007, Signet Classics) by Nicholas Evans

Nicholas Evans’ The Divide is an incredible story of a family split from crime and loss, and how quickly a person can fall from fame.

Abbie Cooper was the golden child and apple of her parents’ eye with her accomplishments, accolades, and dreams of going off to college. But things take a dark turn for Ben and Sarah Cooper when they hear rumors of their daughter having joined a group of eco-terrorists at her college out in Montana, only for these rumors to come to fruition when Abbie goes on the run from the FBI.

But the story only truly begins to unfold when a father and son make an unfortunate discovery in the winter: a young woman frozen into the ice. Now Ben and Sarah must watch as the investigation unfolds, with further questions of what had happened to Abbie Cooper and what she had really gotten herself involved in.


The Brave (2011, Simon & Schuster) by Nicholas Evans

The Brave (2011, Simon & Schuster) by Nicholas Evans

Unlike Nicholas Evans’ other works that feature beautiful, natural spaces, eight-year-old Tom Bedford finds himself in a gray, unstimulating, and toxic boarding school. Tom is certain that life can’t get much worse with emotionally-distant parents, a far-away sister, and a dead-end education. That’s until his sister, Diane, starts dating a famous TV star.

TV cowboy Ray Montane is one of Tom’s idols, so when the entire family decides to move out to Hollywood to follow Ray and Diane’s careers, Tom suddenly feels like he has it made. But like the dark, secretive twists of The Divide, there’s more to the Hollywood scene than fame and glistening lights.

The family keeps what happens a secret for decades, but when Tom, a father himself, hears of his own son falling into trouble, he realizes that he has to face the dark secrets of his own past to save his son from an equally dark future.


The Loop (1999, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

The Loop (1999, Delacorte Press) by Nicholas Evans

After killing them by the thousands less than a century before, the small ranching town of Hope, Montana, in the Rocky Mountains, is left with a collective chill running down its back when a massive resurgence of wild wolves appears in their community.

Helen Ross, a leading biologist from the east, leaves her home and practice in search of something new when she hears news of the wolf repopulation. She then rushes to Hope, Montana, urgent to give these wolves a different fate than their ancestors.

But when she arrives, Helen gets involved with and angers the wrong people, which complicates any chances she might have had of saving the wolves. Desperate, she turns to someone for help who she never expected.

I will leave it to you to decide which Nicholas Evans book is the best, but if you’re looking for the most comparable title to The Horse Whisperer in regards to setting, plot, character development, intensity, and multiple, well-written storylines, The Loop is absolutely the one to choose.


Mckenzie Tozan

McKenzie is a poet, novelist, essayist and avid reader. She received her B.A. in English and B.S. in Education from Indiana University, followed by her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University. Since 2010, she’s worked in the publishing industry, primarily with small presses and literary magazines. Originally from the Midwest, McKenzie now calls coastal Croatia home, alongside her husband, their three children and their cat. When she isn’t writing or reading, she’s probably creating art, playing piano, swimming, hiking, or baking Halloween treats. You can find more about her on her website.

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