The Horse Whisperer by Nicolas Evans comments on many cultural issues. He analyzes life and presents characters with depth and emotion. Protagonist Grace Maclean experiences every emotion imaginable throughout the course of the novel. Grace deals with emotions of confusion, depression, and happiness in a very short period of time. More importantly Evan's shows the transition of Grace from a child to an adult. And carefully details the evolving relationship with her mother.
In the beginning Grace expresses little and/or no emotion towards her mother Annie Maclean. The novel does not provide details related to there relationship, yet it conveys emptiness. Annie provides insight into the relationship when she recalls a conversation between her and her daughter:.
"Why don't we ever do this?" Grace said, not looking up. Annie answered, rather too tartly, that she thought it was immoral, like product placement. And Grace had nodded thoughtfully, still not looking at her, "Uh-huh," she said, matter-of-fact, flipping on to something else. "I guess people think you"re younger if you make out you haven't got kids". (39).
This comment gives serious insight into Grace's non-caring attitude towards her mother. Grace also does not look her mother in the face when speaking to her. This behavior whether intentional or not presents the lack of communication between daughter and mother. On one hand Grace is disrespecting the mother by not giving her mother the attention she deserves. And on the other hand Annie does not go out of her way to confront the problem. So in the area of communication, the blame is equally divided between them both.
Grace's accident on her horse Pilgrim changed her life forever. Following the accident Grace falls into a coma which faces her with a difficult choice. This choice is symbolic of her willingness to continue with life and confront her problems. In the coma she encounters two lights, one that is bright and strong and one that is weak and dim.