The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss came highly recommended by several trusted friends, and wow.
I’m not much for writing reviews. When I love a book, I don’t want to turn on the critical part of my brain that looks for flaws or tries to analyze what worked and why. I just want to revel in the emotion of it. This book — and Martha Lessen’s journey in particular — hit close to home for me. Like Martha, I was a kid who never wanted to get married, who had big plans for a life of adventure. Longing is the best word to describe that feeling I would get, a feeling that would almost choke me with its power.
And when I read this sentence, I knew that Martha Lessen, and probably Molly Gloss, understood exactly what I felt:
When she was younger she had daydreamed about going up into the high parks of the Blue Mountains or the Wallowas or the Clarks and camping there quietly until the wild horses got over being afraid of her and came out of their hiding places, and in her daydream she rode them bareback without a bridle, guiding just with her knees and heels and her voice, and she never came down from the mountains.
There’s so much more — so many ways this book is making me think about my life and my choices, and about the inevitable “breaking” that seems to happen to us all. But for now, I’ll keep those things to myself the way Martha would have.