The Hearts Of Horses (Paperback)
Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List
“Molly Gloss tells a heartwarming story of a young woman who earns her way as a 'horse gentler' on the eastern Oregon frontier during the early 1900s.”
— Sandra Palmer, Wy'east Book Shoppe & Art Gallery, Welches, OR
If you are crazy about horses, read this book!! But, even if you're not a horse person (I am not), you will enjoy this story. Molly Gloss write so realistically and just plain comfortably about ranch life in Eastern Oregon in 1917. Her main character is 19 year old Martha Lessen. A young woman who is willing to "ride the circle" 7 days a week to break horses. A gentle, warm, and heartfelt story.— Patty Merz
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.
MOLLY GLOSS is the best-selling author The Hearts of Horses, The Jump-Off Creek, winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award, The Dazzle of Day, winner of the PEN Center West Fiction Prize, and Wild Life, winner of the James Tiptree Jr. Award.
"Gloss has ... a permanent place on the shelf of American literature [featuring] smart, independent women." — Kent Haruf, “Plainsong,” “Eventide”
"A shining example of Molly Gloss' gifts." -- Amy Bloom, "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You"
"An acutely observed, often lyrical portrayal … has as much to say about people as about horses." Kirkus Reviews
[Gloss] brings the period during World War I vibrantly alive.
Gloss ignores boundaries instead of defying them ... her re-creation of a romantic past and its irrecoverable dreams feels solid.
"[An] affecting, timely novel that lays explicit emphasis on empathy as a yardstick of humanity." - San Francisco Chronicle
Not just a horse story or a tale of the West, Gloss's moving novel ... is a story not soon forgotten.
"Gloss's lyrical story follows the mesmerizing journey of 19-year-old Martha Lessen." - Hallmark Magazine
"A shining example of Molly Gloss's gifts." -- Amy Bloom ("Love Invents Us" and "Away")
"Molly Gloss has made herself a permanent place on the shelf of American literature." -- Kent Haruf ("Plainsong," "Eventide")
"The moving story of a ... strong-willed woman bucking society's norm to gently train horses without breaking their spirit." - Temple Grandin
"Gorgeous! Pitch-perfect ... utterly engaging ... deft." - Andrea Barrett (National Book Award winner "Ship Fever")
"Magnificent .. Molly Gloss has brilliantly recreated a bygone time and place." - Howard Frank Mosher ("On Kingdom Mountain")
"Truly, one of the best books you'll ever read." - Jane Kirkpatrick ("All Together in One Place") —