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The story "The Lover of Horses" by Tess Gallagher is told from the viewpoint of a young female narrator who has returned home shortly before her father's death. It is a primarily psychological tale, in which our discovery of events is motivated by the narrator's reflections on their meanings. As the father gradually descends into death, the narrator sees a choice between the life path pursued by her father and the one pursued by her mother. She chooses her fathers path, and takes up smoking. She visits her father's favourite places and makes herself a bed from cedar tree branches. In an imagined conversation with her dying father, accompanied by the sound of the ocean, she decides to follow his path through life and also become a "lover of horses" and all they represent.
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