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Gloss's austere latest (after Wild Life) features a wandering taciturn tomboy who finds her place in rural Oregon while the men are away at war. After she leaves home in 1917, 19-year-old Martha Lessen plans to travel from farm to farm in Elwha County, Oregon, breaking horses left behind by owners away fighting. She winds up in small town Shelby, where farmers George and Louise Bliss convince her to stay the winter with them after she domesticates their broncos with soft words and songs instead of lariats and hobbles. While breaking the town's horses, Martha meets a slovenly drunk, a clan of Western European immigrants and two unmarried sisters running a ranch with the help of an awkward, secretive teenager. When Martha's not making the rounds or riding through the Clarks Range, Louise tries her hand at socializing (or, perhaps, breaking) her, but Martha chafes at town dances, social outings and Louise's hand-me-down church dresses. Gloss's narrative is sometimes as slow as Martha's progress with the more recalcitrant beasts, but following stubborn, uncompromising Martha as she goes about her work provides its own unique pleasures. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Molly Glosss affecting fourth novel turns the Western genre on its head with a woman as the mysterious stranger appearing on horseback, but Gloss is known for her independent, self-sufficient heroines. The Hearts of Horses is perhaps the most sentimental of all her works. Though the plot is more a collection of linked stories than a single, continuous narrativea stylistic technique that most reviewers commented on but did not criticizeGlosss simple, unadorned prose and stark portrayal of the West during the first two decades of the 20th century create a moving, wistful memorial to a lost way of life. Shy, self-effacing Martha captivates her fellow humans in much the same way she charms wayward horses. Only USA Today suggested that the story lacks a certain warmth. However, Martha will no doubt beguile most readers.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Lovely book. A hint of what life was like back in the early 1900s.Published 1 month ago by horse lover
I picked up this book, which I had ordered by mistake, and realized it was one of the best mistakes I'd ever made in purchasing books. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Miriam Lisbon
A very interesting read. Author either knew her subject well or did a very good job at researching it. I liked it.Published 1 month ago by Pat Hope
Hearts of Horses was written by Molly Gloss. The author was born on 20, November 1944 and grew up in Oregon, USA. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Valerie Penny
I was drawn to the book's premise of woman horse "whisperer "who set off to find her fortune training horses. I wasn't disappointed in the telling of Martha's story. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Cori
Anyone who loves horses will have their heart warmed by the care given by the major character in this book. Wish all horse owners could have such a big heart. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Carole K. Linneman