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The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
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The Hearts of Horses (2007)

by Molly Gloss

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5084130,528 (4.06)1 / 56
  1. 10
    The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans (SugarCreekRanch)
  2. 00
    Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles (amelielyle)
    amelielyle: Both novels concern independent young women who have rapport with horses--there is a secondary romantic theme to both stories.
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The central characters have integrity. Martha is 19 years old young woman who has left home looking for work breaking horses in 1917. Her approach has her riding horses in a circuit as part of the training. We get to know the owners of the various horses that she is breaking along with some others who live in the area. These people, the way they live, and the happenings during this period are fascinating. The story is slow-paced, but very rich in action and personal interaction. The author has the talent of putting the reader into what is going on. It might be a sleigh ride or a evening after a hard day's work. Every bit is rich in real description, dialog, and action that seemed so normal for those in the story. There are some harsh realities in the book. They are part of the way things were and are not presented in a way to accentuate the evils of war, disease, or mean people. The overall story lifts up the goodness of people in the midst of very real and very serious adversity. I loved the way this part of history was presented in fiction. ( )
  ajlewis2 | Jul 11, 2018 |
Book club choice. Another good book to inspire young girls to be true to who they are and have courage. This is the story of nineteen-year-old Martha Lessen who leaves home in 1917 determined to make a way for herself doing what she knows best and that is braking horses in a gentler way than the norm. We meet many interesting settlers along the way trying to make their way during hard times and the 1st World War. Martha is very inspiring as she stays true to who she is and lives the life she is dreaming of. ( )
  theeccentriclady | Nov 14, 2017 |
As WWI is beginning the farmers are losing sons and farm hands. Even their work horses are being taken by the Army.

Nineteen-year-old Martha Lessen leaves the unhappy home she grew up in and heads for a remote area in eastern Oregon hoping to find work breaking horses. George Bliss, a well known and liked rancher, gives her a chance and is well pleased with the results. When he recommends her to other farmers she gets enough work to last the winter. Shy and lonely, Martha goes about her work with a determination and skill that brings her respect, even from those that questioned her methods. This is not just about Martha though, it's a novel giving insight into how people lived in this remote and unfriendly but beautiful place. A true novel of the West. ( )
  clue | Aug 15, 2017 |
This book is the story of an unconventional young woman who leaves the farm where she grew up, and strikes out on her own to find work breaking horses. It is set in the early 1900's, in the mountains out west. Her techniques with horses are gentle, unlike those commonly used on ranches at the time, and they are effective. Many ranches are shorthanded because World War I has taken the young men off to fight She succeeds in finding work quickly and as the story unfolds ourquiet and reserved heroine gradually finds her place with the people in the community, and brings along the horses entrusted to her care. It is her story, but it is also a story about a place and a certain time. The West hasn't been settled long. Mechanized farming hasn't arrived yet but it's on the horizon. I enjoyed the combination of the place, the characters, and the slow pace of the book. I had hoped for more detailed descriptions of her work with the horses, but I was not disappointed by the book. ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Set in Oregon in the early 20th century, this novel explores the life of Martha Lessen, a young woman with a gift for gentling horses.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Mar 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
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For Ed, this last gift
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In those days, even before the war had swept up all the young men from the ranches, there were girls who came through the country breaking horses.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0547085753, Paperback)

An elegant, heartwarming story about the profound connections between people and animals

 

In the winter of 1917, nineteen-year-old Martha Lessen saddles her horses and heads for a remote county in eastern Oregon, looking for work “gentling” wild horses. She chances on a rancher, George Bliss, who is willing to hire her on. Many of his regular hands are off fighting the war, and he glimpses, beneath her showy rodeo garb, a shy but strong-willed girl with a serious knowledge of horses. So begins the irresistible tale of a young but determined woman trying to make a go of it in a man’s world. Over the course of several long, hard winter months, many of the townsfolk witness Martha talking in low, sweet tones to horses believed beyond repair—getting miraculous, almost immediate results. It's with this gift that she earns their respect, and a chance to make herself a home.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In the winter of 1917, with many of his regular hands off fighting in World War I, a rancher hires a young woman to help gentle wild horses, and as she demonstrates her unique talent for dealing with damaged horses, she finds a sense of family and belonging.… (more)

» see all 7 descriptions

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