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The Hearts of Horses Paperback – Bargain Price, December 8, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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 the Audio CD edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
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 the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
Most of the young men - ranch and farm hands - are off fighting in World War I and Martha is able to realize her dream of gentling horses in this area of the Little Bird Woman River.
Independent and brusk in her men's clothing, Martha finds a group of horses to gentle in the area she's staying in and she starts a circuit riding approach to riding all the horses regularly.
I read this book when it first came out a few years ago and loved it. I decided to re-read it after just finishing Falling from Horses, the story of Martha's son in 1938. It really doesn't matter in which order you read these two books - just be sure to do it.
Lyrical prose, larger-than-life characters who you want to get to know, period pieces that bring the details of these bygone eras into the forefront and bring the history alive - author Gloss brings all these things in both of these books.
I highly recommend both books to history buffs, readers who like strong female protagonists and anyone that loves darn good writing.
This is a well written and well researched fictional story of life in Oregon's cattle country in the early 1900s. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Most recent customer reviews
several opportunities to develop that.Read more