Synopses & 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 strong-willed girl with a serious knowledge of horses.
So begins the irresistible 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 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 pitch-perfect 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.
This breakout novel from the author of The Jump-Off Creek tells the heartwarming story of a determined young woman with a gift for "gentling" wild horses.
About the Author
Molly Gloss is a writer living in Portland, Oregon. Her novel The Jump-Off Creek was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction and winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award. In 1996 Molly received a Whiting Writers Award. She is also the author of The Dazzle of Day, a New York Times Notable Book and a PEN Center West Fiction Prize winner, and Wild Life, which won the James Tiptree Jr. Award. Renee Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. A multiple Audie Award nominee, she has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber's Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC's One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC's Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy and Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn's Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009.