In 1860s Montana Territory, Kate Beecher, a young woman from Boston, faces the hardships and hard choices of life on the frontier. Just 18 and quietly struggling against the social constraints of the era, Kate meets a woman who fires first her imagination and then her dreams. Jessie Forbes, a fiercely independent rancher, finds in Kate the passion she never knew she had been missing. This is the story of their struggle to love in a land, and time, as cruel as it was beautiful.
©2002 Radclyffe (P)2015 Bold Strokes Books, Inc.
This is a fresh, new take on one of Radclyffe's early classics. While her longtime followers will recognize and appreciate the growth of her writing craft in the years since Innocent Hearts was first published, the story remains as sweet and charming as when I first read it.
Just as I enter a movie theatre with an open mind when I see a film based on a favorite book, I approach audio versions of books I have read as works of art all their own, as the product is in an entirely new media. I do not expect another person's interpretation to match mine exactly, but I do expect that the audio book keeps the tone and spirit of the original print book.
The narrator of this work exceeds those expectations. Her performance is engaging, her diction clear, and her voice a delight to listen to -- like she is reading this to me in front of a cozy fire. Through Radclyffe's words and Ms. Bryan's performance, I was transported to the Montana Territory to be right there with Jessie and Kate throughout their love story. I thoroughly appreciated a narration that allowed me to discover subtleties and nuances in the work that I had not picked up on in my first reading of the book.
Moreover, I further appreciated the narrator's choice to keep the reading at a pace at which my mind works. So many of the old-school audio books I find way too slow, and my mind begins to wander. This was not the case for Innocent Hearts, and I applaud the narrator for her animated interpretation and for maintaining the modern trend for audio performances to reflect a pace closer to natural conversation. By no means do I think this lessened the characterization of Jessie and Kate, nor do I believe this affected the impact of their love or passion.
One criticism is the choice of audio sample provided here. I don't believe it is reflective of the whole book, and does not do the work justice.
While this might not be Radclyffe's finest work, it is an enchanting love story that is further heightened by Ms. Bryan's stellar narration. It's definitely worth a listen.
This is one of my favorite love stories by Radclyffe because the Love is so innocent. In addition, I'm a sucker for westerns & the history. However I was sorely disappointed in the narrator. I felt she rushed through the reading & didn't really capture or demonstrate the true love of this story or the characters. Her reading really missed the emotion going on. I'm sure if she slowed down maybe it would've been different. Hopefully she don't read Promising Hearts. I recommend you read the ebook to really capture this love story.
"I love reading this book but...."
It is one of my favourite old Radclyffe books, a simple love story with likeable characters.
I enjoy the variety of characters in this story and the possibility for a sequel (please post it soon!)
Unfortunately the performance really ruined this for me. The voice for male characters and the lead woman were as deep as each other. The accent for the time and setting was quite annoying at times.
"Great but rough around the edges"
There are some problems with this , I think it was originally written in 2002, so its possibly a early work of Radclyffe's. There are some point of view issues, and the dialogue is not as slick as later works of hers. There is also a believibilty issue in terms of acceptance of the relationship between Jessie and Kate, from Kate's parents given the era in which this is set.
All that being said this is a great story. I like this type if adventure story and romance (rather then crime and romance), and I like how the relationship develops between the characters. The narrator does good job, but for a few places where pace was too fast in the narrative and too slow in Jessie's dialogue (I understand its western accent, but did not quite work to me, but this could me my ear.)
I did enjoy this work enjoyed this work, And might be one of the few I might listen to again.
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