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A Hopeful Heart 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: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,640 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)
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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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I look forward to the next novel from Kim Vogel Sawyer.
A J Hawke Author
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to fans of Christian fiction who enjoy sweet romances.
Karen Witemeyer
Kim Sawyer writes gentle love stories with tons of heart and true-to-life characters.
Melanie Dickerson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 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 5 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 Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I have always loved a good prairie romance. A HOPEFUL HEART goes beyond good and into great!
A group of eastern girls being taught on the open prairie how to be good prairie wives-- that alone snagged my attention, but once getting into the book you are opened to a world beyond the setting. The characters are real and alive, worming their way into my heart. Tressa, the heroine is a young woman searching for her place in the world and through each circumstance she must learn to stand strong in God. I loved her journey on all counts.
I can think of nothing I did not like about this book. I truly believe it is the best book by this author to date. The setting was vividly described, bringing me right there. The characters danced upon the screen of my imagination with a real life persona and the love story was sweet and complete with a lovely sigh from this reader when the book was closed.
Even the secondary characters were vivid in their portrayal and I hope to someday rejoin a few of them in another book. Please?
A HOPEFUL HEART will definitely be going on my best books list for a long time to come and is highly recommended!!
Thanks the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Karen Witemeyer on May 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I first read the premise of this book, I knew I had to read it. I had never heard of a herdsman school, but what a wonderful idea! I love historical romance, and so many times I'd wondered what it would be like to travel back in time. Well, if I ever did, I would definitely make Aunt Hattie's school my first stop. Teaching ignorant town women like me how to cook on an iron stove, tend a garden, milk a cow, drive a wagon - all essentials for surviving and finding a mate in the world of Kansas ranchers.

This sweet story is full of characters that are easy to relate to and ones who stir your heart...and your suspicions. The leisurely pace at the beginning picks up about halfway through, and the adventure really takes off. I flew through the second half of this book. I cheered for Tressa as she battled her insecurities to become a self-assured woman who depends on God for strength. And the reluctant Abel captured my heart as well. Try as he might to avoid it, love still comes knocking on his door.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to fans of Christian fiction who enjoy sweet romances.
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