Nicholas Evans by Christopher Jones

Nicholas Evans

Nicholas Evans spent his childhood in the English countryside watching American Westerns on TV, riding horses, and reading Jack London books, experiences he put to good use in writing The Horse Whisperer, an epic romance about a man with the power to heal both wild steeds and the desperate woman who comes to him for help. Evans was in dire straits himself when he began his first novel. His career as a journalist and screenwriter was sputtering and, although he'd produced a documentary about director David Lean, his own directing deal had fallen apart.

Inspired by a story he heard from an English blacksmith, Evans decided to write a book about a man who communicates with horses, a "horse whisperer." He spent six weeks doing research in the American West -- interviewing animal healers and witnessing awful equine exorcisms -- before returning to London to write. With mortgage payments looming, he showed the first half of his book to an agent friend. The ensuing war for the book's rights among publishers and Hollywood producers netted Evans $8 million, effectively ending his financial worries; he bought a new house in London, where he began work on his second novel, The Loop. Robert Redford directed and starred in the film version of The Horse Whisperer opposite Kristin Scott Thomas.

The Divide
(Putnam Adult, 2005)

The #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE HORSE WHISPERER returns with an epic new novel of the human heart.

On a Montana morning, two skiers find the body of a woman embedded in the ice of a mountain creek. She's identified as Abbie Cooper, a brilliant college student who was on the run from charges of murder. But what was the chain of events that led this golden child astray? The answers are in the secrets of an American family fractured by lies and reunited in a tragedy.


The Smoke Jumper
(Bantam Press, 2001)

In a searing novel of love and loyalty, guilt and honor, the acclaimed author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Horse Whisperer gives his millions of readers another hero... The Smoke Jumper.

His name is Connor Ford and he falls like an angel of mercy from the sky, braving the flames to save the woman he loves but knows he cannot have. For Julia Bishop is the partner of his best friend and fellow “smoke jumper,” Ed Tully. Julia loves them both--until a fiery tragedy on Montana’s Snake Mountain forces her to choose between them, and burns a brand on all their hearts.

In the wake of the fire, Connor embarks on a harrowing journey to the edge of human experience, traveling the world’s worst wars and disasters to take photographs that find him fame but never happiness. Reckless of a life he no longer wants, again and again he dares death to take him, until another fateful day on another continent, he must walk through fire once more...


The Loop
(Corgi Adult, 1999)

The Loop opens as a pack of wolves makes a sudden, savage return to the Rocky Mountain ranching town of Hope, Montana, where a century before they were slaughtered by the thousands. Now shielded by law as an endangered species, they reawaken an ancient hatred that will tear a family, and ultimately the town, apart. At the center of the storm is Helen Ross, a young wolf biologist sent alone into this remote and hostile place to protect the wolves from those who seek to destroy them. The Loop charts her struggle, and her dangerous love affair with the son of her most powerful opponent, the brutal and charismatic rancher, Buck Calder. An epic story of deadly passion and redemptive love set against the grandeur of the American West, The Loop is sure to capture the hearts and imaginations of readers worldwide.

A haunting exploration of man's conflict with nature and the wild within himself, an epic story of deadly passions and redemptive love set against the grandeur of the American West, The Loop is destined to capture the hearts and imaginations of readers everywhere.

The Loop was selected as a Main Selection of both The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club.


The Horse Whisperer
(Dell Books, 1998)

One morning while teenage Grace Maclean is riding Pilgrim, her goofy, loveable pony, she has a horrendous glass-shattering, bone-splintering, ligament-wrenching meeting with a megaton truck that leaves her and her four-legged friend damaged in mind, body, and spirit. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, her jaded, brilliant, bitchy mom, Annie Graves (Kristin Scott Thomas in the 1998 film) is working out a wrinkle in her self-absorbed existence when she gets a call at her plush, Manhattan office about Grace's accident. Racked with guilt, Graves makes it her calling to find the mythical horse whisperer, an equine Zen master who has the ability to heal horses (and broken souls) with soothing words and a gentle touch. Just when it seems he can't be found, what do you know, she finds him. He arrives in the form of Tom Booker -- a rugged, sensitive, dreamy cowboy who helps Pilgrim and Grace repair their fractured selves (think Robert Redford). To add more mesquite to fire, Booker has a way with not-so-injured attractive, married women -- like Annie. As the plot thickens, so does the familial strife, which threatens to undo Booker's healing work.

Like an expert cinematographer, Evans deftly crafts each scene with precision and clarity, sprinkling in ominous signs and foreboding images. For example, in the opening paragraphs, as Annie starts out on the tragic ride, she comes across a bloody bird wing that seems to have fallen out of nowhere. The weight of impending doom is further strengthened by the truck driver's bad luck -- he has a run-in with the highway patrol just moments before his meeting with Grace and Pilgrim. These not-so-subtle subliminal messages are masterfully stitched in throughout the story and may compel readers to act as if they were watching a B-grade horror movie, shouting aloud, "Don't go there!" However sentimental, The Horse Whisperer is an engaging read, sort of like a finely tuned, well-edited film.


The Brave
(Little, Brown, 2010)

There's little love in eight-year-old Tom Bedford's life. His parents are old and remote and the boarding school they've sent him to bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. The only comfort he gets is from his fantasy world of Cowboys and Indians. But when his sister Diane, a rising star of stage and screen, falls in love with one of his idols, the suave TV cowboy Ray Montane, Tom's life is transformed. They move to Hollywood and all his dreams seem to have come true. Soon, however, the sinister side of Tinseltown casts its shadow and a shocking act of violence changes their lives forever.

What happened all those years ago remains a secret that corrodes Tom's life and wrecks his marriage. Only when his estranged son, a US Marine, is charged with murder do the events resurface, forcing him to confront his demons. As he struggles to save his son's life, he will learn the true meaning of bravery.

Powerfully written and intensely moving, The Brave traces the legacy of violence behind the myth of the American West and explores our quest for love and identity, the fallibility of heroes and the devastating effects of family secrets.

SELECTED REVIEWS FOR
The Horse Whisperer

“Compelling . . . a real page-turner.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Gripping . . . a compelling portrait of three people who love each other but can’t break through the self-created walls that keep them apart.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Fascinating . . . moving . . . a big, engrossing book [with] an unexpected ending that surprises mightily.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“Brilliance pervades this five-handkerchief weepie.”—The Times (London)

“Outstanding . . . a book of rare power and beauty.”—Booklist


SELECTED REVIEWS FOR
The Brave

"Alternating past and present, Evans expertly juggles his twin narratives until they come shatteringly together as father and son yield to the combined weight of the secrets they hide. Combining elements of the prep school drama, the Hollywood novel, the western, and the war story, Evans (The Horse Whisperer) skillfully mixes genres to create a real crowd-pleaser." (Publishers Weekly )

"Ever the master of intense and complex relationships, Evans has crafted a time-traveling plot that admirably juggles issues of identity and fidelity to one's self and one's principles." (Booklist Carol Haggas )

"In his first novel in five years Evans displays a sure hand at drawing characters and their motivations and settings as diverse as a gloomy boarding school, glamorous Hollywood, and the wide-open spaces of the West. This should appeal to all lovers of good storytelling." (Library Journal Dan Forrest )

"The Brave is an engrossing tale that ... suggest[s] that, as Faulkner said, "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." Fans of The Horse Whisperer won't want to miss this complex and satisfying story. For readers who have not had the pleasure of reading Evans, but are looking to get lost in a big novel with larger-than-life characters, The Brave is sure to fit the bill." (BookPage Kelly Blewett )


SELECTED REVIEWS FOR
The Loop

"Gripping, big drama in Big Sky country...The Loop ropes a reader in."
--People

"Colorful, captivating . . . a novel of big themes: freedom, self-reliance, conservation, sheer survival."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Readers who loved The Horse Whisperer will most certainly love The Loop."
--The Orlando Sentinel


SELECTED REVIEWS FOR
The Divide

A beautifully written novel. (Sunday Oklahoman)

From Booklist
Evans demonstrates the same intricacy of plot and depth of characterization that defined his international best-seller The Horse Whisperer (1995). When the frozen body of a young woman is discovered in a -remote creek in the Rocky Mountains, the heartrending story of a family in crisis begins to unfold. Reaching back in time, members of the seemingly perfect Cooper family present their version of the events, emotions, and twists of fate that forever altered the benign course of their collective lives. After the unanticipated divorce of Sarah and Benjamin Cooper, their daughter, Abbie, becomes involved with a dangerous ecoterrorist group, while their son, Josh, drifts along in a marijuana-fueled haze. As they all move inexorably toward the ultimate tragedy, their individual perspectives coalesce, providing the reader with an opportunity to fully understand the toxic intersection of expectations, needs, and desires that inevitably caused their family unit to implode. Attempting to understand how and why Abbie wound up in the bottom of the creek, the Coopers are finally able to come to terms with the past and move toward the future. Sure to be a runaway success, this lyrical novel runs the gamut from devastation to despair to deliverance. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Introduction to The Brave by Nicholas Evans

From the bestselling author of The Horse Whisperer: an epic story of one man's struggle to save his son—and himself—from the mistakes of their past.