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 -- and getting miraculous, almost immediate results. Ultimately, her gifts will earn her a place of respect in the community.With an elegant sweetness like that found in Plainsong, and a winning energy as in Water for Elephants, The Hearts of Horses delivers a heartwarming, greatly satisfying story about the unexpected and profound connections between people and animals.