The Hearts of Horses
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, beneat...more
Even with the background of the war and of the surfacing of human meanness, this is a gentle book--and...more
The story takes place in the American West at the beginning of the first World War, when the young men were just star...more
Apart from settling that debate, The Hearts of Horses is an enjoyable read, more page-turning than its quiet, even-tempered tone would initially give you cause to guess. It may prompt you to chuckle in company, and, when pressed, explain lamely, "Just horses being hor...more
It's not often an author takes as much time with a story as Molly Gloss does with this one. Don't let the title fool you, this is not a book about horses, despite the heroine of the story being a horse whisperer of sorts. The horses merely transport the plot the same way they did people out West during the lead-up to American involvement "over there" in WWI (a period I haven't read too much about, so I found it really different).
This story is written in omniscient, which I don't see much anymore...more
First off, the book is certainly well written. As the plot unfolds Martha establishes a circle ride where she...more
This book works on so many levels, I hardly know where to begin. It's a book about World War I at home, it's a...more
Molly Gloss's affecting fourth novel turns the Western genre on its head with a woman as the mysterious stranger appearing on horseback, but Gloss is known for her independent, self-sufficient heroines. The Hearts of Horses is perhaps the most sentimental of all her works. Though the plot is more a collection of linked stories than a single, continuous narrative
I chose this book to read because the theme of a woman horse whisperer intrigued me. What I didn’t expect, was such a thorough history of life in the west during World War One. I was familiar with women’s roles in WW II, Rosie the Riveter, etc., but had never given much thought to how women took over men’s roles during the previous war—girls who substituted for men doing ranch work were called Land Girls. The Dust Bowl and Great Depression that followed these years, was in part caused by...more
The main character of the book, Martha Lessen, is a young, gifted horse trainer trying to make the grade in a man's world. Her methods of horse gentling as opposed to bucking a horse out, raises eyebrows, but she wins hearts over when she soon gets amazing results with animals gi...more
Martha has her own problems of course, which Louise sees...more
Martha comes to a small...more
What a delightful, charming story. I was captivated by the story told by Martha Lessen a young woman who sets out in Oregon in 1917 to make her living as a horse breaker. Shy but determined, gentle but strong, her unsentimental love for and skill with horses ensures that she soon finds work on the remote settlements in this bleak yet beautiful part of America.
Its a simple story, yet really kept me turning the pages, i...more
When I was a kid I read every horse story in print and I remember especially Black Beauty (of course) and the books of Will James. Hearts of Horses is the same kind of book. The language is as simple as a pair of leather chaps, and the lead character of Martha is as quiet and soft-spoken, determined and brave, as any character Jimmy Stewart ever played--and almost as tall. It's a Western, but not a bang-bang shoot-em-up Western. It's about a young woman (though she's constantly and a little anno...more
The story began with the introductions to the characters in each chapter and you grow to love each as an important pa...more
The main character in the book, Martha, is talented in gentling horses with methods which are unconventional for this time period. As she rides the "circle" - going from ranch to ranch each day riding these green horses, I loved seeing how her life bec...more
Her novel The Jump-Off Creek was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, and a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award. In 1996 Molly was a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award.
The Dazzle of Day was named a New York Times Notable Book and was awarded the PEN Center We...more