An amazingly touching book!
Althea Winsloe has no intention of remarrying, ever! After all, she has what she needs - her husband's farm to pass onto her beloved son when the time comes. However, the denizens of Marrying Stone don't agree. It seems like every single person in the small mountain town is eager to see her wed, preferably to the man of their choice.
True, she does need help with the farm, but it is easy enough to simply hire a man to take care of things like that. Enter Jesse (or Simple Jesse as they refer to him throughout the book, even Althea, I hate that bloody condescending name). He is more than willing to help in exchange for Althea's husband's dogs. Now when Jesse was born, the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck, so there was a lack of oxygen to his brain, making him, in the words of the various characters in the book "feebleminded". It's possible that they didn't exactly put it like that, but I came to that conclusion.
Now, for the best part of the book - Jesse. He is so amazing, generous, full of love, gentle, I could go on and on. Now true, he has his problems, never being able to find the words he needs, his understanding of some things isn't the best, but he has the ability to read deeper than the words being said. It's like the words people say sometimes go over his head, but he can read the underlying emotions.
Or there are situations when he is aware that something is wrong, and simply can't tell why. Like with the deer.
I did have some issues with Althea and her behavior, and some townsfolk who I didn't like even after their "redemption", but Jesse completely makes up for it.