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A Hopeful Heart
     

A Hopeful Heart

4.2 22
by Kim Vogel Sawyer
 

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Dowryless and desperate, Tressa Neill applies to the inaugural class of Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, in 1888. The school's one-of-a-kind program teaches young women from the East the skills needed to become a rancher--or the wife of one. Shy and small for her twenty-two years, Tressa is convinced she'll never have what it takes to survive Hattie Wyatt's

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A Hopeful Heart 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
A_J_Hawke More than 1 year ago
In A Hopeful Heart, Kim Vogel Sawyer intertwines a good fiction story with a little know historical fact. Set in Kansas in 1888, six young women arrive at Hattie Wyatt's ranch to enter her herdsman school to learn how to be the wife of a rancher. Her aunt and uncle force Tressa Neill to leave her home in the east and join the group. Shy, afraid, and easily intimidated, she endeavors to succeed in this foreign environment. Abel Samms, a bachelor rancher, who wants nothing to do with these 'eastern' girls, does what he can to avoid them. Sawyer, author of 14 novels, has written an intriguing and enjoyable tale. Full of humor, suspense, and plot twists, this story is full of interesting characters. The interweaving of the characters' beliefs and sometimes struggles with God is well done. I found this to be a satisfying read. I look forward to the next novel from Kim Vogel Sawyer.
nyauthoress More than 1 year ago
Put your bonnet on, climb up into the buckboard and take a trip to the Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas. Tressa Neill travels west at her Aunt Gretchen's demands for a second chance at gaining a husband and family. The west is long on men and short on women. The small town of Barnett is all stirred up because Hattie Wyatt had concocted a plan to train women brought from the east everything they need to know about being a rancher's wife. The fun part will be matching them up with unmarried ranchers when they've graduated. We wander amongst these young women as they brand calves, make butter, learn to keep a ranch house clean all the while anticipate being sparked by the ranchers. Tressa, flawed by the inability to forgive, eventually undercovers a secret, which gives her an opportunity to grow. Adam, soured on God for all the losses in his life and preoccupied with a ranch that barely sustains itself, resists marriage. Will his heart forever be held prisoner? Especially endearing is prayerful "Aunt" Hattie, who, not blessed with children of her own, is full of hope about her house of young students. She is determined to teach them riding, roping, milking, gardening, canning and any other rancher's wife duty she can come up with, all in preparation for preparing them for their duties as ranch wives. Hattie, too, eventually finds love. A Hopeful Heart will immediately plunk you into its characters' lives and make you feel a part of the wide-open prairie. Using Abel's ranch as a place to teach her girls about birthing calves is a snappy plot twist. The dialogue reflects the time and culture perfectly. This book is a fascinating take on an experimental program to help populate the west. The story is original and the writing smooth and easy on the eyes. We learn that holding onto grudges helps no one. Forgive as God has forgiven us is hard for some, but not impossible. Highly recommended to those who love a subtle romance set the west when our country was young. Reviewed by Holly Weiss, author of Crestmont
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
A Hopeful Heart by Kim Vogel Sawyer is a delightful romance full of faith and charm. Tressa Neill is one of the first students at Hattie Wyatt's herdsman school for girls. Rejected by her aunt and uncle, she wants to learn how to be a good wife on a ranch in hopes of finding a husband, just like the rest of the women in the school. Abel Samms doesn't have much faith in the school or the women, he just wants to figure out who has been rustling his cattle in such quantities that he's being forced to consider selling his ranch to his wealthy neighbor. Sawyer is a talented writer, and I've read several of her other books, but this may just be her best one yet. I absolutely adored this novel! Tressa is a delightful heroine who is initially unsure of herself but learns from Hattie to learn to trust herself and the Lord. I love books like this where the reader knows from the first page that everything is going to end happily, but the journey there is so much fun. Sawyer has created a vibrant group of characters here, and I hope that the Wyatt Herdsman School isn't through. There are more stories to be told! If you're looking for a sweet romance, you couldn't do any better than this book.
kwitemeyer More than 1 year ago
When I first read the premise of this book, I knew I had to read it. I had never heard of a herdsman school, but what a wonderful idea! I love historical romance, and so many times I'd wondered what it would be like to travel back in time. Well, if I ever did, I would definitely make Aunt Hattie's school my first stop. Teaching ignorant town women like me how to cook on an iron stove, tend a garden, milk a cow, drive a wagon - all essentials for surviving and finding a mate in the world of Kansas ranchers. This sweet story is full of characters that are easy to relate to and ones who stir your heart...and your suspicions. The leisurely pace at the beginning picks up about halfway through, and the adventure really takes off. I flew through the second half of this book. I cheered for Tressa as she battled her insecurities to become a self-assured woman who depends on God for strength. And the reluctant Abel captured my heart as well. Try as he might to avoid it, love still comes knocking on his door. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would recommend it to fans of Christian fiction who enjoy sweet romances.
AmandaCabot More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful book! Take six Eastern women, transport them to Kansas and put them in a herdsman's school. (What's a herdsman's school? A place where women learn the skills needed to be true helpmeets to ranchers.) Add in more than six prospective grooms, along with a man who's convinced that he's not ready to marry. And then, as if that weren't enough to guarantee a delightful story, toss in a bit of trouble . or more than a bit of it. It all adds up to one of Kim's best books yet, one that will keep you up late, because you have to read 'just one more chapter.' I highly recommend A Hopeful Heart to anyone who enjoys stories of love and faith and real people facing real problems. It's a winner.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you kim
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KeliGwyn More than 1 year ago
Kim Vogel Sawyer created a delightful cast of characters with whom I enjoyed spending time. Six young Eastern women head to Kansas to attend a special school, one designed to teach them how to become successful rancher's wives. While the focus is on reserved Tressa and rugged rancher Abel Samms, the reader gets to experience added fun as multiple matches are made under the watchful eye of the school's founder, Aunt Hattie, a warmhearted woman who adds much to the story. Sawyer is a gifted storyteller, and I savored every moment my nose was buried between the pages of A Hopeful Heart.
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MartaPerry More than 1 year ago
Kim Vogel Sawyer hits all the right notes in her latest historical romance, A HOPEFUL HEART, Bethany House. With her trademark heartwarming style, Sawyer treats readers to the story of Tressa Neill, a dowryless Easterner sent to the Wyatt Herdsman School in Barnett, Kansas, with the hope of finding a husband, a family, and a life of her own. Tressa's mistakes and misadventures and her valiant efforts to fit in to her new Western community will touch readers' hearts. Sawyer has a gift for transporting readers to another time and place, and they are sure to enjoy this trip to 1880s Kansas in her skillful hands. Marta Perry
Melanie_Dickerson More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book, A Hopeful Heart, which is the story of Tressa, an Eastern girl whose parents died a few years ago and left her to live with an aunt and uncle who didn't love her or want her. They send her west, to a school that will teach Tressa to be a good wife to a rancher, as there are lots of eligible ranchers in the area but few prospects for wives. I was drawn in by Tressa's plight. She's shy and rather incompetent at tasks she'd never had to learn while in her wealthy relatives' home. I could sympathize with her not wanting to be thrust upon some man she barely knew to be his wife, feeling almost like she was being auctioned off. But she had little choice. She had to marry because she had no family or means to support herself. Such was the plight of many women of that time. Kim Sawyer writes gentle love stories with tons of heart and true-to-life characters. I enjoyed this book very much and recommend it to fans of sweet historical romance.
Prolificreader More than 1 year ago
I have always loved a good prairie romance. A HOPEFUL HEART goes beyond good and into great! A group of eastern girls being taught on the open prairie how to be good prairie wives-- that alone snagged my attention, but once getting into the book you are opened to a world beyond the setting. The characters are real and alive, worming their way into my heart. Tressa, the heroine is a young woman searching for her place in the world and through each circumstance she must learn to stand strong in God. I loved her journey on all counts. I can think of nothing I did not like about this book. I truly believe it is the best book by this author to date. The setting was vividly described, bringing me right there. The characters danced upon the screen of my imagination with a real life persona and the love story was sweet and complete with a lovely sigh from this reader when the book was closed. Even the secondary characters were vivid in their portrayal and I hope to someday rejoin a few of them in another book. Please? A HOPEFUL HEART will definitely be going on my best books list for a long time to come and is highly recommended!! Thanks the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.