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Heart of the West Mass Market Paperback – May 2, 1996

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Mass Market Paperback, May 2, 1996
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Island Books (May 2, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440222117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440222118
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in 19th-century Montana, Williamson's latest mixes romance with the harsh realities of frontier life.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

YA?A tale of the settling of the West told from a woman's perspective?three women actually. Clementine Kennicutt is a proper Bostonian lady until she literally bumps into Gus McQueen and elopes with him to Montana. Hannah Yorke is the town prostitute who becomes a prosperous landowner, though she is forever marked by her past. And Erlan Woo is a young Chinese picture bride whose heart remains in China. These three seemingly mismatched characters become fast friends. Throughout the story, Williamson shows how they looked beyond the day-to-day existence and sank roots, established schools, and brought civility to the wildness of the wilderness, while still tending animals, working in the fields, cooking, and caring for their children. As the characters tell their stories, readers are transported to Montana and see how the land controls the fate of these three women.?Pam Spencer, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

There is closure to the book but by the end of the book you want to know MORE.
Cheryl Stout
I loved this book because it was real--the characters were courageous and fought against life tragedies and overcame hardships.
Love to read romance
The many complex characters in the story add dimension to the plot as well as give insight into the main characters.
Eager Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By lgbdx3 on March 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What a story. I was emotionally exhausted by the end of this book AND missing an entire night's sleep...and westerns are not usually my first choice...and I am ready to read it again.
This story has so many wonderful characters in it and so many possibilities that I found myself, at times, actually feeling guilty for wanting the H\H to get together because I didn't want the other people hurt. This is a 'grown up' romance. One that recognizes there is more than 1 kind of love between a woman and man; that sometimes it is not good guy vs bad guy but just 2 good & very different men; that sometimes there ARE commitments in life that take precedence over one's passion. I had a difficult time not 'back-paging' this book (out of fear for where PW was going to take my bleeding heart) but, despite all I just said, I kept faith that PW does believe in 'meant to be' kind of loves, even if they take a while.
After reading Outsider and Keeper of the Dream I knew it was time to seek out everything PW has written. What an amazing storyteller. Her stories are each unique, without a totally predictable plotline. Her writing style is also her own in a very classy, understated way that just feels real and puts you right into the character's emotions. Somehow she grabs your heart and soul without losing believability. And while PW's men are sexy & handsome as can be, they are also real men, with scars inside & out; not always the perfectly pretty, rich boys with perfectly tied cravats...which just makes them even sexier.
"My love for you won't stop with my leaving. Come an evening over the years, when you step outside your door and hear the wind blowing through the cottonwoods, that'll be me, thinking of you, whispering your name, and loving you." Gawd, I tear up all over again reading this. This is a love story that will hang over your heart for days after.
Penelope, please don't stop writing romances. You are amazing!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Nguyen on July 3, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read the teaser for this book a couple of years ago and kept putting it off and off. The idea of having two brothers in love with the same heroine and the long seperation that the two fated lovers went through really made me wary of reading this novel. I finally picked up a hardback copy and on one fine day I sat down to read it; I couldn't put it down. This novel is an epic that spans twelve years of Clememtine Kennicutt McQueen's life, from her coming of age, to revelations, joys, heartbreaks, waiting, yearning, and finally the culmination of all the years of ardent forbidden love when Clem and Zach are finally free to love and be together. If you are put of by epics, which I am, you should read this anyway. The novel centers around Clemintine's life but it also richly details her relationship with Hannah Yorke a saloon owner and ex-prostitute, Erlan Woo, a Chinese mail order bride, to a white widow who was once a captive of a Native tribe. Ms. Williamson not only tells us about these people through Clemintine's eyes, but she lets us see most of the characters through eachothers eyes. The novel is about what happens to a young girl when she finds out she married the wrong man? Through her writing we see Clem's struggle to truly love Gus the way he loves her, we see that her love for Zach is as natural as breathing. While she loved her husband, it is really his brother who is the grand passion of her life and you can't find fault with Clemintine and Zach because they didn't have an adulterous affair, on the contrary it breaks the heart to read what they went through to reach the end together.Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donk on February 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Heart of the West is one of my all-time favorite books. Penelope Williamson creates an unforgettable story of the settling of the West. The young heroine, Clementine, escapes her gilded cage existence in Boston and her rigid, moralizing father to elope with Gus, the cowboy of her dreams. But she discovers that her tenuous relationship with a man she hardly knows while living in faraway Montana territory is much more challenging and lonely than she envisioned in her youthful daydreams.

The lives of Clementine, Gus, and his brother Zach are intertwined in the main story. After arriving in Rainbow Springs, Montana, to Clementine's dismay, she discovers that Gus has many of the authoritarian and self-righteous qualities that her father possessed, and yet there is a different side as well -- a laughing and caring husband who has big ideas about the future they can build together. As the story unfolds, Clementine tries to please her new husband while yearning for a freedom to be herself, and struggling with the hardships of living in a rugged place. Gus sees his new wife in a superficial way -- beautiful and innocent, a trophy wife -- and it seems as if she is a balm for his own fragile self-esteem. His brother Zach, a hard-living, hard-drinking rancher with a rebelliious streak, views Clementine as a starched-up interloper who is too weak to bear up under the pressure of life in the unforgiving wilderness. Clementine surprises both brothers with her guts and determination.

There is a "Pride and Prejudice" quality to the relationship between Clementine and Zach. Although at the beginning they spar with each other in a battle of strong wills and words, they later come to respect one another and gradually a forbidden love develops.
Read more ›
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