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A Hopeful Heart Paperback – June 1, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews
Book 5 of 10 in the Heart Of The Prairie Series

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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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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 (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Merce Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 500 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, I have Kim Sawyer is one favorite authors! She knows how to develop the characters so well and make into a believable story! I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, it had such winsome characters in it. One of my favorite was the little gal named Sally.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful story from historical America
It tells of trials, hard work of living on the prairie, and the friendship shown between neighbors and townspeople. During all the story, faith plays a very important place and in the end, faith is what brings forgiveness and brings happiness to the story characters.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In all of my reading about the history of the old west I have never encountered anything about a herdsman school.
That in itself made this book extremely interesting for me.
I only gave it 4 stars because it somehow did not have the warmth of the previous books in this series.
It was interesting and provides the reader with some very loveable characters. This story begs for a sequel.
Thanking you Kim for another clean outstanding book for the inspirational readers.
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As always Kim Vogel Sawyer's books are an enjoyable, relaxing read. So I do enjoy her books for that plus the fact that it is certainly nice in this day and age to see that our dear Lord can be spoken of so freely and openly. Her books are very uplifting in that respect and I am looking forward to reading more of her books.
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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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