Prime The Hearts of Horses By Molly Gloss –

The Hearts of Horses This breakout novel from the author of The JumpOff Creek tells the heartwarming story of a determined young woman with a gift for gentling wild horses In the winter of , a bigboned 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 strongwilled girl with a serious knowledge of horses So begins the irresistible tale of nineteenyearold 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 it, and broken ribs and tough falls just went with the job But over several long, hard winter months, many of the townsfolk in this remote county of eastern Oregon witness Martha's way of talking in low, sweet tones to horses believed beyond repair and getting miraculous, almost immediate results and she thereby 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 by a sense of community and family that she's never had before With the elegant sweetness of Plainsong and a pitchperfect sense of western life reminiscent of Annie Dillard, The Hearts of Horses is a remarkable story about how people and animals make connections and touch each other's lives in the most unexpected and profound ways

About the Author: Molly Gloss

The JumpOff Creek was a finalist for the PENFaulkner Award for American Fiction, and a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award In Molly was a recipient The Hearts Kindle of a Whiting Writers Award

10 thoughts on “The Hearts of Horses

  1. Lara Messersmith-Glavin Lara Messersmith-Glavin says:

    I met Molly Gloss when I was in high school in Eastern Oregon, the setting for her beautiful novel, The Jump-off Creek. She was a local hero for the simple reason that she wrote about our world, our hills, our familiar tamarack forests and sagebrush, our quiet people and the lives they lead. In

  2. Dana Stabenow Dana Stabenow says:

    I'd call this book almost a sequel to Monte Walsh by Jack Schaefer, and I consider Monte Walsh one of the perfect novels. The writing is superb, in that run-on raconteur style that feels like the easy canter of a horse. It's 1917, and young Martha Leeson leaves home to become an itinerant bronco buster, only she's a horse whisperer instead and she doesn't get that far from home, either.

    This book works on so many levels

  3. Mila Mila says:

    What a surprise! The cover is so off-putting, along with the title, that if it hadn't been given to me from the library just before I got on a plane with nothing else to read I probably wouldnt have looked at it twice. It's fabulous! There is none of the sappy, over emotionalized nonsense you might expect from a book about a woman who gentles horses in the early years of WWI. Instead, it's very well-written, with deep, extremely rea

  4. Emma Deplores Censorship Emma Deplores Censorship says:

    It’s too bad about the title and cover. This is a lovely work of literary historical fiction, which happens to feature a protagonist who trains horses, but which neither anthropomorphizes nor is sentimental about them. Really it’s a story about the hearts of humans: how they live together and love one another. It’s the first winter of America’s involvement in WWI, and the shy but tough 19-year-old Martha Lessen arrives in a ru

  5. Donna Jo Atwood Donna Jo Atwood says:

    This is an absolutely amazing book. It takes place over a six month period from the fall of 1917 through the spring of 1918 in cattle country in Oregon. It's a wonderful story of a shy young woman, more at home with horses than people, who comes into the valley to offer to break horses for various farmers and ranchers. And, of course, it is the story of those ranchers and farmers that she meets.
    Even with the background of the war

  6. Tattered Cover Book Store Tattered Cover Book Store says:

    I never would have looked twice at this book, had I not heard the author speak at MPIBA. Her speech, though it had nothing to do with the book, was impressive enough (and I heard enough people saying they couldn't put the book down) that I had to give it a chance. If the following description doesn't sound like your normal cup of tea, just know that it isn't mine, either. And yet.

    The story takes place in the American West at t

  7. Felicity Felicity says:

    Well, it's been proven: you can still write a novel with an omniscient narrator. I don't pretend that setting it in the historical past (the U.S. homefront during WWI) doesn't help, but it can obviously still be done, and done well.

    Apart from settling that debate, The Hearts of Horses is an enjo

  8. Kathleen Kathleen says:

    I wish the library had a copy of this book, but they only had the audiobook. The pace felt too slow in audio format — and never fully engaging, even though I like reading about animals in historical settings. Set in 1917 during WWI in northwestern Oregon, a shy 19-year-old works as a horse breaker (whisperer). Martha rides a circle of about 15 miles, stopping at about five ranches along the route to continually work with her students — fo

  9. Jackie "the Librarian" Jackie "the Librarian" says:

    This book is spare yet beautiful, just like life in southwest Oregon during WWI. Martha Lessen is a nineteen year old cowgirl, looking for working gentling horses. Her path through the ranches in the valley of the Little Bird Woman River gives the reader a window into the lives of the families of the horses she gentles, families worrying about their young men going off to war, facing discrimination because of German heritage, dealing with alcoh

  10. Erin Erin says:

    It would not be overstating things to say this book was a joy to read. I adored every minute with it, so much so that I had to dole it out to myself in nibbles because I just didn't want it to end. It's one of those books I love too much to write any kind of review of, so I'll just try to sensibly state what spoke to me about it.

    Martha Lessen. A great, big-boned, awkward girl of a character, and I loved her. I loved her quiet confiden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *