In "The Lover of Horses," how does the narrator solve her mother's problem?

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"The Lover of Horses" is a short story in the anthology of the same name by Tess Gallagher.

The narrator is summoned by her mother to help with her father, who is on a gambling and drinking binge. Although her mother wants her to bring him home and help him come to his senses, the narrator is excited by his winning streak and helps him with food and moral support. When the gambling game breaks up, she brings him home and becomes obsessed with the thought of following in his footsteps. While she does not fulfill her mother's request, she manages to keep her father from hurting others or himself, aside from drinking himself almost comatose. Her attitude at the end, when she aspires to surpass her father's acts, shows her deep personal connection to him and the growing mental instability that plagues her family.