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Hopeful Heart, A Paperback – June 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers; English Language edition (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764205099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764205095
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,047,354 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Romance writer and author of 14 novels, Sawyer has written another tenderhearted tale, this one set in Barnett, Kans., in 1888. When widowed Hattie Wyatt opens a school for young women to learn the skills needed to be a rancher—or rancher's wife—22-year-old orphan Tressa Neill becomes one of Hattie's first students. Initially an unwilling participant forced to enroll in Hattie's school by her aunt and uncle, the shy Tressa eventually warms to her environment. She applies herself to her studies and is soon intrigued by Abel Samms, a bachelor whose heart was broken by a girl who, like Tessa, came from the east. Encountering various dangers, Tressa and Abel are soon thrust into one another's company by no design of their own, and a mutual attraction blossoms that neither can ignore. Sawyer's fan base will appreciate this latest work for its heart, yet they may well be disappointed by its lack of depth or freshness. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Awkward and clumsy Tressa Neill is devastated when her socialite aunt sends her west to Kansas in 1888 to attend a new school that trains young ladies to be wives to hardworking ranchers. But Tressa soon finds that she is quite handy at practical matters under Mrs. Wyatt's firm but sympathetic tutelage, and that Mrs. Wyatt's staunch faith bolsters her self-confidence and leads Tressa closer to God. Solitary Abel Samms, struggling to keep his ranch despite significant losses he suspects are due to rustlers, soon becomes Tressa's good neighbor, protector, and mentor despite his unhappy past with another eastern woman. And he finds his own faith renewed as he observes Tressa's struggle to believe. Sawyer's plainspoken historical and inspirational coming-of-age romance capitalizes on the resurgence in popularity of bride-train experiences on the American frontier, and offers a unique perspective on the herdsman's schools established on the prairie. --Lynne Welch

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 46 customer reviews
Kim Sawyer writes gentle love stories with tons of heart and true-to-life characters.
Melanie Dickerson
I did enjoy this book, the characters and plot were very good and I loved the many Godly lessons that were in the story.
Tina Hale
Another winner by Kim Vogel Sawyer... this is one of her historical romance books and I truly loved it.
Susan K. Edwards

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By O. Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 2, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
*****
This lovely prairie romance will satisfy even people who do not normally read prairie romances (like me). It is the story of a young woman--Tressa--who moves to Kansas from the east coast in the late nineteenth century in order to attend a school for prospective ranchers' wives, a school which trains young women in skills they will need on the prairie--riding a horse, driving a wagon, branding and birthing animals, cooking for a ranching crew, and other domestic and farming skills. The school is delightful--a training ground for young women to see if they have what it takes to make it on the prairie. When they finish the school, they are matched with a rancher and marry (with the consent of all involved, of course).

Tressa learns to be not just a successful rancher's wife, but so much more. She learns how to stand up for herself, what love is and isn't, and what faith in God is and how to rely on Him. In the process of her learning these lessons, much goes on, including a mystery surrounding cattle rustling, interesting tales of the other character's pasts, friendships, and vivid portrayals of a simpler and in many ways, better time, in my opinion. The plot of this beautifully-written novel at first seems that it is going to be predictable, but it is not!

Since this is a Christian novel as well, the characters profess faith in a non-preachy way that fits in beautifully with the plot. Faith in God was a big part of life on the midwest prairie, and seeing how He fit into the fabric of almost everyone's life was moving. I started this novel and found myself unable to put it down; it was an escape for me to an amazing time and place, and I am grateful to have read it.

Highly recommended.
*****
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. K. S. on August 14, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Hopeful Heart is a gentle story of healing and forgiveness. The protagonist, Tressa Neill, is sent west to Wyatt Herdsman School as a dowryless girl. Her guardians, an aunt and uncle, believe that second best is good enough for their orphaned niece. The events that shape Tressa's life, as well as the lives of the other girls at the Herdsman School, run full spectrum from cooking for ranch hands to branding cattle. Sawyer's novel captures the essence of Kansas ranch life in the late 19th Century.
Since "Aunt" Hattie Wyatt's purpose in starting this school is to train girls to be ranchers' wives, there's plenty of matchmaking going on while the girls learn ranching skills.
In A Hopeful Heart, Sawyer has woven a tale of a loving God's plans for each girl's future. The reader gets to participate in Aunt Hattie's faith as she shares her beliefs with those around her. This novel is a sweet romance with a strong Christian element, suitable for tween girls as well as their moms and grandmas.
My thanks to Bethany House for providing me with a copy for review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Edwards on May 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
Another winner by Kim Vogel Sawyer... this is one of her historical romance books and I truly loved it. Where I am a fan of her Amish books ... this book hooked me from the very start. I never had previously heard of a herdsman school however, I find the concept not only interesting but something that could have been very useful for some.

This book covers so very, very much ... forgiveness which is a favorite of mine and something so many of us need to work on ... I absolutely hurt for Tressa ... one could feel her pain, from her hurts of past and compounded by the way some of the girls treated her currently. Aunt Hattie is one you will love from the very first ... the aunt everyone would love to have. Abel, who has been hurt by a previous love and doesn't want to give another a second chance, but is such a great guy you can't help but pull for him. There are so many different characters here all with a great purpose ... some you will love, some that you will hurt for, some that will surprise you, and some that will disappoint you.

Loved it ... no big surprise here as I am a fan of Kim Vogel Sawyer ... but it was sure enjoyable reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Keli Gwyn on October 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
Kim Vogel Sawyer created a delightful cast of characters with whom I enjoyed spending time. Six young Eastern women head to Kansas to attend a special school, one designed to teach them how to become successful rancher's wives. While the focus is on reserved Tressa and rugged rancher Abel Samms, the reader gets to experience added fun as multiple matches are made under the watchful eye of the school's founder, Aunt Hattie, a warmhearted woman who adds much to the story. Sawyer is a gifted storyteller, and I savored every moment my nose was buried between the pages of A Hopeful Heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on June 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
A Hopeful Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a delightful romance full of faith and charm. Tressa Neill is one of the first students at Hattie Wyatt's herdsman school for girls. Rejected by her aunt and uncle, she wants to learn how to be a good wife on a ranch in hopes of finding a husband, just like the rest of the women in the school. Abel Samms doesn't have much faith in the school or the women, he just wants to figure out who has been rustling his cattle in such quantities that he's being forced to consider selling his ranch to his wealthy neighbor. Sawyer is a talented writer, and I've read several of her other books, but this may just be her best one yet. I absolutely adored this novel! Tressa is a delightful heroine who is initially unsure of herself but learns from Hattie to learn to trust herself and the Lord. I love books like this where the reader knows from the first page that everything is going to end happily, but the journey there is so much fun. Sawyer has created a vibrant group of characters here, and I hope that the Wyatt Herdsman School isn't through. There are more stories to be told! If you're looking for a sweet romance, you couldn't do any better than this book.
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