The Hearts of Horses

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, 2009 - Book clubs (Discussion groups) - 289 pages
21 Reviews
In the winter of 1917, a big-boned young woman shows up at George Bliss's doorstep. She's looking for a job breaking horses, and he hires her on. Many of his regular hands are off fighting the war, and he glimpses, beneath her showy rodeo garb, a shy but determined girl with a serious knowledge of horses." "So begins the tale of nineteen-year-old Martha Lessen, a female horse whisperer trying to make a go of it in a man's world. It was thought that the only way to break a horse was to buck the wild out of him, and broken ribs and tough falls just went with the job. But when, over course of several long, hard winter months, many of the townsfolk in this remote county of eastern Oregon witness Martha talking in low, sweet tones to horses believed beyond repair - and getting miraculous, almost immediate results - she earns a place of respect in the community. Along the way, Martha helps a family save their horses when their wagon slides into a ravine. She gentles a horse for a dying man - a last gift to his young son. She clashes with a hired hand who is abusing horses in unspeakable ways. Soon, despite her best efforts to remain aloof and detached, she comes to feel enveloped in a sense of community and family that she's never had before.

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User Review  - Karin7 - LibraryThing

Martha Lessen is a young woman who in 1917 comes to Elwha County, Oregon looking for work as a broncobuster for local ranchers and farmers. She is far more of a horse whisperer than a conventional ... Read full review

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User Review  - Cheryl_in_CC_NV - LibraryThing

Lovely, quiet, authentic. More than just Martha's story, though, it's a slice of history of rural Oregon centering on WWI. I was charmed, and was given a lot to think about. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Molly Gloss is the author of The Dazzle of the Day, a New York Times Notable Book; The Jump-Off Creek, a finalist in the PEN/Faulkner Award; and Wild Life, a winner of the James Tiptree Award.

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