The Thundering

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The Thundering
*Finalist, Reader’s Favorites 2016 Book Awards, General Fiction Category

The place is Portland, Oregon, the year is 1961. Psychologist Cathy Morgen takes on a difficult task: helping a troubled teenage boy return to the world of humans. A charity case at Summerhaven Mental Hospital, seemingly without family or friends, Joseph behaves exactly like a terrified mustang: kicking, neighing and forever trying to escape whatever horrors haunt him. An adept athlete, he can run on four legs and kick backwards like a mule. While trying to cope with her own disasters – the suicide of another patient and the slow deterioration of her marriage – Cathy struggles to piece together Joseph’s mysterious background. What sort of trauma could have driven him away from humanity? And what sort of so-called parents or guardians would have let him go?

Finding the answers won’t be easy, since Dr. Arthur Cailouette, head of psychiatry at the hospital, who has his own ideas on how to treat Joseph’s condition, thwarts Cathy’s progress on a daily basis. Then there’s Dan, her husband, who longs for the time when he and his wife can return to a “normal” marriage without the added baggage of her “loony” patients. But Cathy sees something that the others are missing: Joseph is a bright, talented boy who has lived through an extraordinary upheaval. Cathy is determined to discover its source and solve the riddle of Joseph the horse-boy, thereby redeeming herself for her previous failure. No matter what the cost.

Read the complete prologue.

The idea for my latest novel, The Thundering, must have come to me at the tail-end of a dream. I say this because I woke up one morning, my head pounding with the questions, “What would happen if a boy behaved like a horse?” and “What kind of person would come to his aid?” Although I don’t have a background in psychology, the story and characters began to come together for me after speaking with a neighbor at a party; he just happened to be a practicing psychologist. I felt that, for good or bad, I was meant to write this novel, which represents, for me, such a wild departure from…there’s that word again…the norm.

I hope you will read The Thundering, which is available from several sources.  It can be purchased from Amazon in print or Kindle formats, or ordered from Barnes & Noble in print or Nook formats.  Orders in other e-reader formats are available from Smashwords.  The book can also be ordered through me; please see the contact page. While it’s certainly not a feel-good, swashbuckling romance, I hope you will enjoy it. To see what it’s like, why not read this excerpt from the novel? If you choose to read the entire work, I’d love to hear your comments, pro or con. By the way, the title refers to an experience Joseph has and is explained in the book.


  • Still nurturing the pain of a failed attempt to treat one of her earlier clients, Cathy Morgan, a seasoned shrink, sees the opportunity to redeem her conscience when a teenage boy with a rare psychological problem becomes her patient, but diagnosing and treating Joseph takes more than Morgan could have imagined. Now she has to dig into the boy's history and discover the hurt that has compelled him to develop the kind of compulsive, delusional behavior he has, but Cathy's job comes with more challenges than she bargained for and the truth will be reached at a very high cost. The Thundering by Megan Davidson tells the story of a boy's tragedy and a woman's redemption in a very interesting and engaging way.

    Megan Davidson's The Thundering is an endearing tale of how one woman's life can be completely altered and enriched through her contact with broken humanity. The conflict is multidimensional and masterfully developed, the characters compelling, and the plot complex and interesting with sudden turns and unexpected surprises. Davidson's prose is sharp and peppered with streams of consciousness that add a lot of depth to the way characters are sculpted. Megan writes with mastery, confidence, and total control of the story, creating scenes that are close to home and characters that readers will most certainly sympathize with. It’s a breezy read that will hit home to readers with a peal of glee, one that I highly recommend to a wide range of readers. The language is exquisitely beautiful, the characters so real one would think they pop up in their corridors. I read this book with a lot of interest and I will read it again and again.

    Romuald Dzemo Readers’ Favorite
  • In an absolutely wonderful new work by author Megan Davidson, The Thundering, readers will find themselves following the stories of psychologist Cathy Morgen and her teenaged patient, Joseph. Taking place in Portland, Oregon in 1961, the story gives us some very realistic and heartbreaking insights into the atmosphere of mental health facilities of the era. When Cathy first meets Joseph, after receiving a distressed call from the director of the Summerhaven Mental Hospital asking for her help, she finds an absolutely shattered young man. Bucking, neighing and kicking, just like a mustang in the midst of a panic, Joseph's actions appear more horse than human. Using all of her skills, she makes it her mission to find out what has happened in Joseph's life to make him the way he is. At the same time, this journey is one of redemption for her as she tries to recover from the loss of another young patient.

    I loved this book. Loved. It. I don't know what I else I could say to adequately describe how fantastic author Megan Davidson's new work is. Her character development skills are second to none. She has written characters, especially Joseph and Cathy, that the reader will truly come to care about and will think about long after the book is finished. If that isn't the hallmark of a great author, I am not sure what is. This book is absolutely un-put-down-able. I read it from start to finish in one sitting. I simply had to know what happened next. The Thundering would appeal to any reader who loves a generally great work of fiction, but especially those who love a book that will have their heart pounding. I highly recommend The Thundering and am very much looking forward to reading whatever author Megan Davidson has in store for her readers next!

    Tracy A. Fischer Readers’ Favorite