Jun 22, 2010

Book Review: A Hopeful Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer

"So he hadn't headed to the depot to lay claim to a potential wife; he'd just wanted to see how Aunt Hattie's plan had worked out. He held a fondness for the older widow, as did most everybody in town. And sure enough - just as Aunt Hattie had promised, a passel of young ladies arrived on the iron horse. At first glance, it seemed she'd been able to meet some of the men's requests. The ladies all looked to be in the early twenties - old enough to have some maturity but young enough to birth babies. None had appeared sickly or ill-tempered. his friends had elbowed each other, grinning and whispering in approval, right until the last one stepped onto the platform. Then the appreciative whispers changed to ridicule.

Looking more like a lost waif than a woman, that last one hadn't fit Aunt Hattie's description of a 'hardy farm wife.' Small and spindly, he couldn't imagine her hoisting her own bag, let alone wrestling an ornery calf to the ground. But his pity had been stirred when her hat went flying... then she went flying." A Hopeful Heart, pg. 12.

Tressa Neill knows that the Wyatt Herdsman School is her second-best chance at getting a husband. Orphaned, and alone with a penny to her name, Tressa joins up with five other girls and travels to Kansas to learn what it means to be a farmer's wife. However, the privaledged Tressa has lived the life of a lady, and doesn't know the first thing about cooking, cleaning, let alone how to milk a cow or wrangle a calf. Facing ridicule at every turn, the young woman strives to raise above everyone low expectations.

Meanwhile, Able Samms has trouble of his own. His herds are being picked off by rustlers, and if he doesn't figure out how to put a stop to it, he's going to have to sell the ranch. Able wants nothing to do with the girls that his neighbor, Aunt Hattie, brought from out east. He wasn't about to open his heart to another lady... not after the way that Amanda had treated him. But there's something about Tressa that makes him take notice.

Sawyer brings history to life in this wonderful story of second chances, forgivness, hope, and redemption. I especially enjoyed the wonderful way that Kim incorporated her dearly departed cat, Isabelle into the story. I look forward to reading many more wonderful tales by Kim Vogel Sawyer.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

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