Beginning in the midst of the war-ravaged lives in battle of two Australian brothers, The Lighthorseman then shifts from WWI to the home-front battles of the bitter, guilt-ridden and alcoholic survivor, Dale Winters, the elder who had promised to keep his younger brother safe. Dale punishes himself by giving up the great passion of his life – horses. He also punishes the new American immigrant heiress to half of his sheep station, who has been fed stories of the brothers’ adventures by their foster father. It’s a good thing that love is blind and that Emily Castle has got classic spunk, or their romance would be doomed.
Despite its gritty opening, The Lighthorseman soon becomes a rescue romance, complete with the ranch wagered on a horse race that Emily conveniently becomes unable to ride. Though leaning hard on conventions that have become clichés (lots of eyes shooting daggers, blood boiling, and butterflies in stomach before things become as right as rain), this did not bother me as much as the character of Blue, a too frequently used cliché of a mystic aboriginal with the “sight” who concentrates his power and concern only toward his beloved master’s destiny.