Tattered Cover Book Store's Reviews > The Hearts of Horses

The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss
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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 the beginning of the first World War, when the young men were just starting to be sent away from the farms. The main character is a woman who makes her living moving from town to town breaking horses. The back of the galley copy says that the book is about "a woman trying to make her way in a man's world," or something, but it isn't about that at all. It is about the simple strength and courage of the families and individuals living in that very particular place and time. The story is quiet and unassuming, no fireworks, just people trying to get by. It's like a less dramatic John Steinbeck. Sort of. (No offense to Steinbeck, whom I love.)

I know that doesn't sound very exciting, but, as I said, I was very much taken by surprise and felt compelled to read the entirety of this book that is completely outside of my normal reading habits. And that, I think, says a good deal for the story, the characters, and the author.

-Chris C

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