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The Ballad of Hattie Taylor

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A daring young woman pushes back against societal constraints in a feminist, coming-of-age Western romance from New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen. In the small, bustling town of Mattawa, Oregon, the turn of the century offers a new kind of frontier for women: a vast and exciting range of possibilities—to a point. It’s a time for change, and no one is more eag A daring young woman pushes back against societal constraints in a feminist, coming-of-age Western romance from New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen. In the small, bustling town of Mattawa, Oregon, the turn of the century offers a new kind of frontier for women: a vast and exciting range of possibilities—to a point. It’s a time for change, and no one is more eager to embrace new paths than free-spirited outsider Hattie Taylor. If only she could embrace Jake Murdock too. Jake can’t remember a time he was so confused. Hattie is off-limits. The provoking spitfire is under his mother’s protection—his protection—and he has always belonged to another. But now, with the passing of his wife, Jake feels something shift between them. Frustratingly aware of Hattie as a woman, he struggles with new feelings, new questions, new desires. But when a desperate decision born of good intentions turns out to have ugly repercussions, Hattie confronts a cruel reality she can no longer ignore: the truth of where women really stand and the actions men take to keep them there. To navigate her new world of tainted justice and privileged order Hattie will draw on the strength of the women around her—and Jake will learn what it truly means to support the woman he loves.


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A daring young woman pushes back against societal constraints in a feminist, coming-of-age Western romance from New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen. In the small, bustling town of Mattawa, Oregon, the turn of the century offers a new kind of frontier for women: a vast and exciting range of possibilities—to a point. It’s a time for change, and no one is more eag A daring young woman pushes back against societal constraints in a feminist, coming-of-age Western romance from New York Times bestselling author Susan Andersen. In the small, bustling town of Mattawa, Oregon, the turn of the century offers a new kind of frontier for women: a vast and exciting range of possibilities—to a point. It’s a time for change, and no one is more eager to embrace new paths than free-spirited outsider Hattie Taylor. If only she could embrace Jake Murdock too. Jake can’t remember a time he was so confused. Hattie is off-limits. The provoking spitfire is under his mother’s protection—his protection—and he has always belonged to another. But now, with the passing of his wife, Jake feels something shift between them. Frustratingly aware of Hattie as a woman, he struggles with new feelings, new questions, new desires. But when a desperate decision born of good intentions turns out to have ugly repercussions, Hattie confronts a cruel reality she can no longer ignore: the truth of where women really stand and the actions men take to keep them there. To navigate her new world of tainted justice and privileged order Hattie will draw on the strength of the women around her—and Jake will learn what it truly means to support the woman he loves.

30 review for The Ballad of Hattie Taylor

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    DNF at 20% The synopsis of this book is misleading and you should be aware there are some major trigger/content warnings that I wasn't expecting and couldn't deal with. I expected the majority of the book would be Hattie as an adult. But I'm 20% in and she's still a young teenager. Meanwhile Jake (her eventual love interest) has married a woman who is likely asexual and there is a very graphic and disturbing scene of their wedding night where she clearly does not want to have sex and he does anyw DNF at 20% The synopsis of this book is misleading and you should be aware there are some major trigger/content warnings that I wasn't expecting and couldn't deal with. I expected the majority of the book would be Hattie as an adult. But I'm 20% in and she's still a young teenager. Meanwhile Jake (her eventual love interest) has married a woman who is likely asexual and there is a very graphic and disturbing scene of their wedding night where she clearly does not want to have sex and he does anyway. Yes, probably this happened at the time, but I don't want to read it and certainly not in a romance where this is supposed to be the hero. Additionally, we are told that for four years he has continued to regularly go to her for sex that is repulsive to her. I just....I can't. I think we're supposed to empathize with him, but I don't. There's a villainous side character who is a violent and sadistic rapist, so I think that's meant to make us feel good about Jake, but I don't. I will not be finishing this book. I received an advance copy for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathyk21

    The Ballad of Hattie Taylor by Susan Anderson is a historical romance set during the turn of the century in Oregon. The two main characters are compelling. Readers will love the book for their story. The moral and social culture weigh heavily in the story and drive the narrative as much as the romance does. Anderson built conflict that made me refuse to turn pages until I could calm my emotions and rationalize possible outcomes. I loved the main characters; they were real.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    If you read "The Ballad of Hattie Taylor" you need to be aware it is in no way the light romance with humor that have been the hallmark of Susan Andersen's books. Running Wild was written more than five years ago. That was the last book Susan Andersen wrote that I loved. It was a light romance filled with humor, like most all of her other books which, for the most part, I just loved. What you get with "The Ballad of Hattie Taylor" is not a fun coming of age tale set during the turn of the centur If you read "The Ballad of Hattie Taylor" you need to be aware it is in no way the light romance with humor that have been the hallmark of Susan Andersen's books. Running Wild was written more than five years ago. That was the last book Susan Andersen wrote that I loved. It was a light romance filled with humor, like most all of her other books which, for the most part, I just loved. What you get with "The Ballad of Hattie Taylor" is not a fun coming of age tale set during the turn of the century. Serious fare for a period story. When orphaned Hattie Taylor arrives in Mattawa, Oregon she is an immediate outcast among the genteel upper crust families of this bustling frontier town. Social upheaval and women's rights were still a ways off. A woman's place was with her father till he gave her to her husband. Hattie's outspoken nature and free spirit made her life difficult. When she is raped and no justice could be hers if she wanted to exist in the community, she only has to wait two weeks until she can go to teacher's college in Seattle, WA. There she finds acceptance, friendship and a purpose for her life. As soon as young Jake Murdock sets eyes on Hattie he knows that this young girl will change his life forever. Jake makes his life with a wife when tragedy strikes. The repercussions from that tragedy affect his life in ways both Jake and Hattie could never imagine. Years later, Jake is a man on a mission and the newly returned Hattie is his objective. But, even that is not going the way it should. Finding their way to each other is going to take a lot more than the true love they have for each other. 3 1/2-Stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pj Ausdenmore

    The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is a saga that follows the life of orphaned Hattie from the age of eleven to her early twenties. Set in Oregon at the turn of the 20th century, it not only tells the story of Hattie but reflects upon the lives of all women of that era. It was a time where exciting possibilities were opening up but also when a woman's reputation was precarious and inequalities existed, not only between women and men but between women of different classes. Societal issues are highlighte The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is a saga that follows the life of orphaned Hattie from the age of eleven to her early twenties. Set in Oregon at the turn of the 20th century, it not only tells the story of Hattie but reflects upon the lives of all women of that era. It was a time where exciting possibilities were opening up but also when a woman's reputation was precarious and inequalities existed, not only between women and men but between women of different classes. Societal issues are highlighted through the actions of the characters as well as the (sometimes brutal) injustices they suffer. The book is a well-written, thought-provoking, page-turner with complex, fully-formed characters and complicated relationships. Readers are taken on a life journey that evokes a full range of emotions. Make no mistake, this is Hattie's story and it is a compelling one. She is a character who endeared herself to me early on and I was firmly in her corner from start to finish. But there is also a rich supporting cast of characters who are vividly portrayed and critical to Hattie's story. Like many sagas, while they have pivotal parts to play in Hattie's life there are also individual stories to be told. Stories that will also evoke strong emotions. One that made a significant impact on me is that of a young maid, a minor character, but with an important role, whose courage I greatly admired and whose circumstances clearly delineated the line between classes. It would be hard to discuss Jake in too much depth without giving away spoilers so I'll just say that my feelings about him, as well as his relationship with Hattie, and his relationship with his first wife, are mixed and leave it to you to make your own decisions about him. There are parts of this book that will not be easy to read and many issues women still face today that I was left pondering long after finishing the book. Readers should know that Hattie ultimately claims a happy ending but it certainly isn't won without pain, forgiveness, healing, and internal strength. Content Warning: One thing the author does not do in this book is hold back from harsh realities of life. There are some major triggers that I was unaware of before beginning the book and the impact they had on me was deep. Not only was I filled with heartache and rage during the second half of the book, I'm still haunted by what happens to these characters. The mark of a good writer, certainly, to elicit such strong emotions but forewarned is forearmed. Readers who are sensitive to these topics should be aware that they will be dealing with the following issues on the page: Rape Beating Adult death Death in utero *ARC received via NetGalley for fair and unbiased review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    2.5 I really wanted to love this story. Sadly, it fell short for me in a few huge areas. The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is an intriguing exploration of women's place in life and society in the early 20th century. It was interesting to get some perspectives of how women were regulated and viewed in that era. However, I felt that almost all of the men in the story were overly patronizing, controlling, and disappointing. Despite it truly being a highly patriarchal society at that time, I have a hard tim 2.5 I really wanted to love this story. Sadly, it fell short for me in a few huge areas. The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is an intriguing exploration of women's place in life and society in the early 20th century. It was interesting to get some perspectives of how women were regulated and viewed in that era. However, I felt that almost all of the men in the story were overly patronizing, controlling, and disappointing. Despite it truly being a highly patriarchal society at that time, I have a hard time believing that every male would be so domineering, cruel, and brutish to the point of violence. It did not help me believe the few love stories in the book, as they went against what the women said they stood for. I adore the vivid cover - it really drew me in. Hattie was an intriguing and spirited character, and many of the other female characters were really strong. I also enjoyed the historical look at the many changes in American life at the turn of the century. But the story itself lacks some real chances for a great moral. It could have been a liberating story in an earlier time, but right now it feels outdated. The romance felt forced and many sections made me cringe. Despite it perhaps being a historically accurate reflection on society in the 1900s, it lacked a balance with today's need for a fictional account with which we can relate and learn from. If anything, this book will be eye-opening and should spark some great debate into the historical and current state of women's rights and sexual assault. Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for the advanced digital copy in exchange for my honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julia Richardson

    This book deals with the sensitive subject of rape, and the historical way that victims of rape were blamed for the crime. That being said, I really enjoyed the character of Hattie, from the time she was a child until her adulthood. She is a strong, independent woman in a time that does not value these qualities in women. I enjoyed the storyline and Hattie’s pursuit of happiness.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jillian Doherty

    I'd  already been sold by a colleague’s description of ‘a grown-up Anne of Green Gables story, even though I never got into the original while I was young.  Plus, it had me at hello with its gorgeous and unique package, all speaking to the story as well!   Right away you appreciate strong illustrative writing, aimed for readers who enjoy deep character depth and apt pacing. I loved how there was no dancing around a superficial storyline; bad things happen in life and this propels our protagonist fo I'd  already been sold by a colleague’s description of ‘a grown-up Anne of Green Gables story, even though I never got into the original while I was young.  Plus, it had me at hello with its gorgeous and unique package, all speaking to the story as well!   Right away you appreciate strong illustrative writing, aimed for readers who enjoy deep character depth and apt pacing. I loved how there was no dancing around a superficial storyline; bad things happen in life and this propels our protagonist forward.   It was such a page turner~ to read a full life story instead of just a moment in time was also set this story apart as well.   I would encourage more than just romance readers to enjoy this (even with its well pleased spicy scenes) it hits a historical reader right in the happy place as well! Galley borrowed from the publisher.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megengelter

    Beautiful exploration of life and society in the early 20th century through the lens of fiction. One would hope we only imagine the harsh world of yesteryear; however, many themes persist today. I love finding these gems that provide a glimpse into the world my grandparents may have experienced. I highly recommend this historical romance. Advance digital copy provided by NetGalley. Thank you!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rose Blue

    As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1qg After Hattie Taylor’s mother died, she was raised by her father, and his partner, both miners. This resulted in Hattie growing up with a colorful vocabulary, as well as not having a clue about how to act as a young lady. When she turned eleven, her father died, and she was sent to live with distant cousins in Oregon. Hattie struggled to learn to fit in to her new life, though she did well in school, and soaked up knowledge like a sponge. Sti As reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1qg After Hattie Taylor’s mother died, she was raised by her father, and his partner, both miners. This resulted in Hattie growing up with a colorful vocabulary, as well as not having a clue about how to act as a young lady. When she turned eleven, her father died, and she was sent to live with distant cousins in Oregon. Hattie struggled to learn to fit in to her new life, though she did well in school, and soaked up knowledge like a sponge. Still, her forthright manner didn’t let her have any female friends, and she only had one male friend while growing up. She came to love her new family, and they, her. She was particularly fond of Jake, and planned to marry him when she grew up. Jacob Murdock is a young lawyer and ranch owner. When he learned that his mother planned to bring orphaned Hattie into their household, he was unsure at first. From the moment Jake picked Hattie up at the train station, he liked her, and soon grew to love her as a sister. Her frankness and curiosity amused and entertained him, and Jake was always willing to spend time with Hattie, answering her questions, and giving her advice. Being eleven years older, Jake didn’t realize that Hattie’s feelings were turning to a crush that would turn into love. Jake had been courting a local lady, Jane-Ellen, and they married not long after Hattie’s arrival. Though Hattie had every intention of disliking the woman who captured Jake, she finds Jane-Ellen to be sweet and kind, and the two become fast friends. What doesn’t work out, however, is Jake’s marriage. Jake is a very sexual man, who was very disappointed to find his new wife has an aversion to intimacy. Her coldness in the bedroom is such a contrast from her warmth in every other facet of her personality, and it makes Jake truly miserable, and sends him on a path I found truly disappointing. Years into their marriage, Jane-Ellen finally becomes pregnant, and they are both ecstatic about the upcoming birth of their child. Before the child is born, tragedy happens, and the aftermath will set in motion another horrific event which will change Hattie’s life forever. THE BALLAD OF HATTIE TAYLOR is a departure from what I usually read, as it encompasses the story of Hattie from an eleven year old child to her becoming an adult in her twenties, then giving a glimpse of her even more distant future. I love her spirit, her strength, and her resilience, as she bounced back time and again from the hard knocks she had to endure. A particularly devastating event may have wounded her greatly, but she was eventually able to stand up and move on with her life, becoming a successful teacher, earning the respect of the townspeople who formerly looked down on her, and finding the love of her life. THE BALLAD OF HATTIE TAYLOR is very well written, and held my attention, yet, there was so much tragedy, that I found I couldn’t feel uplifted, even with the happy ever after. I also found it hard to accept certain acts by the hero, which lessened my pleasure in the book. I believe that readers who enjoy a coming of age story, and aren’t averse to major traumatic events will enjoy this story which takes place at the beginning of the 20th century. I am adding an additional paragraph which absolutely contains spoilers for those who may be interested to know what pushed my buttons. If you do not want that much information, please don’t read the following… SPOILER ALERT – Rape is a trigger for many readers, and THE BALLAD OF HATTIE TAYLOR contains a brutal attack on the main character by a vile and evil man who believes himself entitled to put every woman in her place. This action is particularly awful because the hero indirectly was responsible for its occurrence by refusing to listen to Hattie’s fears. In addition, the hero was repeatedly unfaithful to his first wife, something that made me question his ability to remain faithful to Hattie. There is also a heartbreaking death of a child, still in the womb.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Corley (lets.get.biblio)

    Definitely trigger warnings to be addressed: rape, sexual assault, violence, chauvinism, graphic sexual depictions, child death, death, stillborn Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange of an honest review. Before reading this, remember that this book is set in the early 1900’s in Oregon. While this has some historical aspects, you often feel like you are reading a present day story. This book is about Hattie, an 11 year old girl taken in by a very very distant aunt to teach Definitely trigger warnings to be addressed: rape, sexual assault, violence, chauvinism, graphic sexual depictions, child death, death, stillborn Thank you to the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange of an honest review. Before reading this, remember that this book is set in the early 1900’s in Oregon. While this has some historical aspects, you often feel like you are reading a present day story. This book is about Hattie, an 11 year old girl taken in by a very very distant aunt to teach her how to be a young lady of the times. She meets Augusta’s son Jake and her best friend Moses Marks. This is a story about a young girl growing, finding herself and living in a world where women are more about being seen and less about being heard. I highly recommend that you go into this one with a very open mind. Some people will be appalled and this will not work for them. However some people will find how this is so relevant to today’s society and the current #MeToo movement. I will admit that there were times when I was disgusted and didn’t want to see what happened, but I needed to know. Plus this was for all those women that can’t or couldn’t tell their story because of the view society would have on them. I will say that some reviews discuss how appalled women have been reading this, but I found it to be very true and honest and accurate for the lives and views that some women have. For example, a young woman gets raped yet still finds it in her to be commanded and be risky with her husband later on as he exerts control in a way they agree on. So I think that this story fits with the time that it takes place. However I feel like you have to have an open mind to get through this book. I devoured it needing to read more and more. The writing was quirky and I did love the characters. Hattie was full of life and energy. I only gave it 4 stars because I felt it a little long and wordy with descriptions at some points. Other than that this is a book that you will either love and need more or not feel comfortable reading. I enjoyed it very much.

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Growing Library

    Let me first start off by saying that this book really should come with trigger warnings. From the synopsis I had not expected for some of the content to be so explicit and could potentially be hard for some people to read. Hattie Taylor is anything but typical for her time period, she is spunky, free spirited and outspoken. Jake, her aunts son is married and off limits though Hattie can’t help but love him. After years in a loveless marriage and after the death of his wife Jake feels something Let me first start off by saying that this book really should come with trigger warnings. From the synopsis I had not expected for some of the content to be so explicit and could potentially be hard for some people to read. Hattie Taylor is anything but typical for her time period, she is spunky, free spirited and outspoken. Jake, her aunts son is married and off limits though Hattie can’t help but love him. After years in a loveless marriage and after the death of his wife Jake feels something between him and Hattie transition. While trying to protect her he actually but her at risk and soon Hattie sees where women really stand in society. Though there is so much of this book that made me cringe due to the time frame it is written in, I really had a hard time when Hattie became harmed and at risk. I have no doubt there are a lot of people who will appreciate this book and the way it was written. I really loved Hatties character and was rooting for her the whole time. Thank you Netgalley and Berkley for my ARC!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Fiorela

    The synopsis of this book is misleading, where is the feminist part? And the romance sucked big time, Jacob was a major asshole, he was a Mr Jekill and Mr Hide, sometimes considerate but then a raging, handsy pervert, he is always trying to cop a feel with adult Hattie, is unnerving that he is the hero and romantic prospect. I couldn't read the kissing scenes with these two, he was abusive and it really didn't felt like he loved her more just lusted after her, just plain lust (view spoiler)[ whe The synopsis of this book is misleading, where is the feminist part? And the romance sucked big time, Jacob was a major asshole, he was a Mr Jekill and Mr Hide, sometimes considerate but then a raging, handsy pervert, he is always trying to cop a feel with adult Hattie, is unnerving that he is the hero and romantic prospect. I couldn't read the kissing scenes with these two, he was abusive and it really didn't felt like he loved her more just lusted after her, just plain lust (view spoiler)[ when they had sex in the barn, he hadn't even been dating, he never said he liked that way or else he just did the deed (hide spoiler)] Then there was the fact that Jake also lusted for his wife Jane-Ellen, and raped her because she was his wife and it was her duty, even though she hated contact and even more sex. The best character was Aunt Augusta, she kicked Jake ass handsomely, I really liked her. In fact, most of the men in this book were domineering perverts plus everything revolved around sex, it was maddening, I think this was an exaggeration from the author's part, that really kills the romance mood for the first part of the book, then it became tolerable. So, it was ok, at times I could barely stand to read it, but it improved on the last pages.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    DNF at 40%. I am incredibly grateful to Berkley Pub for gifting me an advanced copy of this book. It was not what I originally thought it was going to be. I did enjoy seeing Hattie as a young child. By the time I DNF'd she was 18. At this point the book was mainly about how the men of the town ( the love interest included ) lusted after Hattie because of her curves and the fact that she didn't wear a corset. The Love Interest - Sucked. I knew there would be an eventual romance between the two and DNF at 40%. I am incredibly grateful to Berkley Pub for gifting me an advanced copy of this book. It was not what I originally thought it was going to be. I did enjoy seeing Hattie as a young child. By the time I DNF'd she was 18. At this point the book was mainly about how the men of the town ( the love interest included ) lusted after Hattie because of her curves and the fact that she didn't wear a corset. The Love Interest - Sucked. I knew there would be an eventual romance between the two and I could not stick around for it. I will not be rating this book. I probably will not be picking up anything else by this author. I do not recommend this book. At all.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Historical fiction set at the beginning of the 20th century. A coming-of-age story about an independent young woman who faces an unexpected tragedy. Wonderful realistic characters and early 1900s atmosphere.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nabila

    The Ballad of Hattie Taylor by Susan Anderson is exactly what I needed. Think Anne of Green Gables meets Bridgerton - can you think of anything better? Even though this is classified as a historical romance, moral and social change drive the story as much as the compelling relationship of the main characters, Hattie Taylor and Jake Murdock. I loved the strong presence of feminist values intertwined with the intricacies and tough scenarios women faced then and still face today. This novel is a true The Ballad of Hattie Taylor by Susan Anderson is exactly what I needed. Think Anne of Green Gables meets Bridgerton - can you think of anything better? Even though this is classified as a historical romance, moral and social change drive the story as much as the compelling relationship of the main characters, Hattie Taylor and Jake Murdock. I loved the strong presence of feminist values intertwined with the intricacies and tough scenarios women faced then and still face today. This novel is a true Bildungsroman dealing with a woman’s formative years that left me turning the pages deep into the night. Released on January 5th, I highly suggest picking this one up as soon as possible! Thank you to @berkleypub, @penguinrandomhouse, and @netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    •Strong female characters •Empowering •Emotional •Tough Topic I honestly loved this book and I don't think I can stop talking about it once I start! So, when I started this book I kind of didn't want to keep reading it. I wasn't too fond of the characters and didn't quite know where it was going. Then, all of a sudden, I loved it. The story took a turn that really grabbed me and I could relate to Hattie in more ways than one. The story takes place over 10 years (1899-1909) and the littlest of things h •Strong female characters •Empowering •Emotional •Tough Topic I honestly loved this book and I don't think I can stop talking about it once I start! So, when I started this book I kind of didn't want to keep reading it. I wasn't too fond of the characters and didn't quite know where it was going. Then, all of a sudden, I loved it. The story took a turn that really grabbed me and I could relate to Hattie in more ways than one. The story takes place over 10 years (1899-1909) and the littlest of things had me in awe and catching my breath. For instance, the introduction of automobiles I thought was awesome. The female rights forward theme of the book was told so elegantly that it isn't being shoved down your throat, which is a pet peeve of mine. Characters: I really loved the characters. Her Aunt Augusta is awesome and Hattie is one of my favorite lead characters now. I feel you can really tell the growth and change in all the characters over the ten years, especially Hattie. Writing: The writing was great. There isn't description for descriptions sake which I loved. I have another pet peeve when a story goes over board on description and ends up taking a whole page just talking about a room. This had just the right amount of detail.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I loved this book. There are so many big issues and big feelings and emotions that have to be dealt with. There was so much real life tragedy that Hattie and Jake had to overcome. Beating the odds and dealing with massive trauma and trying to navigate life afterward just made the end result that much better!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy Warren

    Excellent western historical romance novel about a young girl who comes to live as a ward with a wealthy widow and her son. The book follows her life story. I enjoyed it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Killgore

    The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Miss Andersen has always written contemporary books and was a little worried at first I wouldn’t like the book. Boy was I wrong, I was hooked after the first page. It starts with Hattie only 11 and all the changes she had to do from moving from a mining camp to a small town to complete strangers. All her journey in the book was wonderful. Won’t tell you any more as I don’t like spoilers in reviews. Just saying pick The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Miss Andersen has always written contemporary books and was a little worried at first I wouldn’t like the book. Boy was I wrong, I was hooked after the first page. It starts with Hattie only 11 and all the changes she had to do from moving from a mining camp to a small town to complete strangers. All her journey in the book was wonderful. Won’t tell you any more as I don’t like spoilers in reviews. Just saying pick up this book and enjoy the ride. Thank you Susan Anderson for another great read

  20. 5 out of 5

    Ellyn Krantz

    Great Story I think women will appreciate this story because it shows how much things have changed and how some things haven't. I loved the characters I could picture them in my mind, I felt like I knew them Great Story I think women will appreciate this story because it shows how much things have changed and how some things haven't. I loved the characters I could picture them in my mind, I felt like I knew them

  21. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    First, I will say this book is compulsively readable. I wanted to see what happened from the first page to the last. That being said, this read like Anne of Green Gables fan fic written by someone who also enjoys an occasional cowboy romance paperback. No shame in that! But it can't be denied that between Hattie - a strong-willed red headed orphan with charm to spare, her beautiful and level-headed raven-haired best friend, Nell, and her best childhood friend, Moses - the Anne of Green Gables de First, I will say this book is compulsively readable. I wanted to see what happened from the first page to the last. That being said, this read like Anne of Green Gables fan fic written by someone who also enjoys an occasional cowboy romance paperback. No shame in that! But it can't be denied that between Hattie - a strong-willed red headed orphan with charm to spare, her beautiful and level-headed raven-haired best friend, Nell, and her best childhood friend, Moses - the Anne of Green Gables derivatives cannot be denied. The evil Roger Lord is a caricature and the only thing missing was him twirling his mustache. I wanted to love this book because it has its charms. If you want to read about Anne with an E getting laid, this is the book for you!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelsea

    I enjoyed this book and I loved Hattie and her independence and disregard for the opinions of others. I also loved the emotional development and relationship development. Some of the characters in this book seemed way ahead of their time while others, Roger Lord especially, seemed insanely behind- emphasis on insane. I would highly recommend changing the blurb for the book. It doesn't match the book at all and gave me a different idea of what the book would be about until I started reading it. A I enjoyed this book and I loved Hattie and her independence and disregard for the opinions of others. I also loved the emotional development and relationship development. Some of the characters in this book seemed way ahead of their time while others, Roger Lord especially, seemed insanely behind- emphasis on insane. I would highly recommend changing the blurb for the book. It doesn't match the book at all and gave me a different idea of what the book would be about until I started reading it. Advanced copy from NetGalley, thank you!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda McCutcheon

    "...corsets are nothing more than...one more instance of man perpetuating the myth of female subservience." The above quote shows how far ahead of her time Hattie is at the turn of the last century. Her infuriation that her male friend Moses thinks she is inviting lecherous behavior by not stuffing everything in place with a corset is refreshing to the reader but shocking to Moses. The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is not at all what the pretty fun cover would have you believe at first glance. It is act "...corsets are nothing more than...one more instance of man perpetuating the myth of female subservience." The above quote shows how far ahead of her time Hattie is at the turn of the last century. Her infuriation that her male friend Moses thinks she is inviting lecherous behavior by not stuffing everything in place with a corset is refreshing to the reader but shocking to Moses. The Ballad of Hattie Taylor is not at all what the pretty fun cover would have you believe at first glance. It is actually a very well written story about the misogynistic treatment of women that over a hundred years later still exists as proven by the need of the #MeToo movement. Hattie is a preteen orphan who comes to live with a distant cousin and her very handsome charming older son Jake. She is naive but strong willed and is careful that no one should take advantage of her. The story starts to take a turn from cute historical romance to very real sexual issues when Jake's new wife (not Hattie) not only has no idea what happens between a man and a woman but wants nothing to do with it once she experiences it on her wedding night. As Hattie grows up the chemistry between her and Jake is undeniable but then an extremely hard to read sexual attack is perpetrated and it is very clear this not a Regency romance. I want to emphasize this is a carefully worded story about a young girl finding love but most importantly finding her self and her truth. It can be triggering if you have dealt with sexual abuse. It also can be life affirming and give hope that as woman we are not what has been done to us but are what we have done for ourselves and each other. I received a free copy of this book from the publishers via Netgalley for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    If you know me, you know that I don't read that many historical romances. However, I've been reading Susan Andersen's books for almost two decades. The book starts out fairly typically. The heroine is non-typical for her time period in that she is boyish, outspoken with lots of bluster. In terms of a historical romance character, she is pretty much a cliche. As a young girl, She develops a big crush on her benefactor's son, but he is already a man, and soon marries. His marriage is marred by sexua If you know me, you know that I don't read that many historical romances. However, I've been reading Susan Andersen's books for almost two decades. The book starts out fairly typically. The heroine is non-typical for her time period in that she is boyish, outspoken with lots of bluster. In terms of a historical romance character, she is pretty much a cliche. As a young girl, She develops a big crush on her benefactor's son, but he is already a man, and soon marries. His marriage is marred by sexual incompatibility and after years, he turns to the town prostitutes. His wife dies, and he realizes that he has feelings for Hattie. In trying to protect her, he puts her in danger and causes her harm. Up to the point before Hattie is harmed I was fine with the story, but from that point, my enjoyment greatly diminished. The final nail in the coffin so to speak was the social discrepancies. It is okay for a woman of lower socio-economical status to speak out about a crime because her reputation is not as important as someone of Hattie's standing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    The plot of this book revolves around women's sexuality, or more specifically, the varying ways in which heterosexual men react to women's sexuality - including rape and sexual assault. Yes, there's romance in this book, but it's only endearing sometimes... For the most part, it seems unbelievable and a little off-putting. I respect that the author tries to draw attention to the fact that women have been sexually-abused and shamed for all of history, including today. However, the numerous ways in The plot of this book revolves around women's sexuality, or more specifically, the varying ways in which heterosexual men react to women's sexuality - including rape and sexual assault. Yes, there's romance in this book, but it's only endearing sometimes... For the most part, it seems unbelievable and a little off-putting. I respect that the author tries to draw attention to the fact that women have been sexually-abused and shamed for all of history, including today. However, the numerous ways in which even the "good" male characters treat female characters in this book negate the intent. (And some of the language is jarring and too modern for a "historical" novel.) Be warned: the cover is misleading.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I have to admit I was a little worried about reading this book after reading some of the other reviews. However, I was hooked from beginning to end. The characters are all well-developed and believable. They are flawed, but for the most part extremely likable (with one exception, the “villain”, who was abhorrent). The story deals with some tough subjects, but concentrates on Hattie’s resilience in overcoming the hardships and circumstances, rather than letting them destroy her sense of worth. I I have to admit I was a little worried about reading this book after reading some of the other reviews. However, I was hooked from beginning to end. The characters are all well-developed and believable. They are flawed, but for the most part extremely likable (with one exception, the “villain”, who was abhorrent). The story deals with some tough subjects, but concentrates on Hattie’s resilience in overcoming the hardships and circumstances, rather than letting them destroy her sense of worth. I enjoyed Hattie’s strong yet vulnerable personality, and was rooting for her the entire time to get her happy ending.

  27. 4 out of 5

    DPanda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I typically don't rate books I DNF'ed (I dropped this around 70% but I had read enough by then), but I felt I had to drop a quick review for this. *SPOILER* I just want to say that it's 2021 and rape in all forms - marital or otherwise is truly not the way stories should be driven forward any more. The ML was so unappealing because of this as he apparently raped his wife for 4 years! Like wtf actually. And also did the Hattie have to get raped to get the plot moving? And also using such an absolute I typically don't rate books I DNF'ed (I dropped this around 70% but I had read enough by then), but I felt I had to drop a quick review for this. *SPOILER* I just want to say that it's 2021 and rape in all forms - marital or otherwise is truly not the way stories should be driven forward any more. The ML was so unappealing because of this as he apparently raped his wife for 4 years! Like wtf actually. And also did the Hattie have to get raped to get the plot moving? And also using such an absolutely gorgeous cover seems like a crime.

  28. 4 out of 5

    D

    The very difficult topics that Andersen explores could have been interesting if the perpetrator hadn't been a completely stock-villain psychopath. Meanwhile, the two other main male characters, while not as mustache twirling in their evil deeds, were nearly as disgusting with their deeply rooted and consistently misogynistic behavior. Hattie and Nell should have stayed in Seattle. Also, the dialogue was some of the most awkward I've read in quite some time. It sounded like characters were reading The very difficult topics that Andersen explores could have been interesting if the perpetrator hadn't been a completely stock-villain psychopath. Meanwhile, the two other main male characters, while not as mustache twirling in their evil deeds, were nearly as disgusting with their deeply rooted and consistently misogynistic behavior. Hattie and Nell should have stayed in Seattle. Also, the dialogue was some of the most awkward I've read in quite some time. It sounded like characters were reading descriptions by the author rather than speaking like normal people. Very strange.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rina

    Well I read some scathing reviews after I finished this book. Those commenters are entitled to their opinion but I thought it was interesting. And it certainly could have all been true. It was the early 1900s after all. Male main character was maligned by one or two reviewers but I believe he was portrayed fairly. Second chances are allowed! Though I might not have read it if I knew the author wrote romance I didn't know and I did read it and it wasn't too horrid! LOL. Well I read some scathing reviews after I finished this book. Those commenters are entitled to their opinion but I thought it was interesting. And it certainly could have all been true. It was the early 1900s after all. Male main character was maligned by one or two reviewers but I believe he was portrayed fairly. Second chances are allowed! Though I might not have read it if I knew the author wrote romance I didn't know and I did read it and it wasn't too horrid! LOL.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    It was a wonderful story and I didn’t want it to end. The Ballad of Hattie Taylor was a historical fiction and historical romance set at the turn of the twentieth century. Hattie was a brave young orphan girl very reminiscent of Anne Shirley. She was intrepid, sensitive, and loving. I couldn’t put this book down I enjoyed it so much!

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