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Riding Lessons (Thorndike Famous Authors) [Large Print] [Hardcover]

Sara Gruen , Carolyn Brown
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: 19.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.99  
Hardcover, Large Print 19.30  
Paperback 5.99  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 22.14  

Book Description

16 Dec 2011 Thorndike Famous Authors

As a world-class equestrian and Olympic contender, Annemarie Zimmer lived for the thrill of flight atop a strong, graceful animal. Then, at eighteen, a tragic accident destroyed her riding career and Harry, the beautiful horse she cherished.

Now, twenty years later, Annemarie is coming home to her dying father's New Hampshire horse farm. Jobless and abandoned, she is bringing her troubled teenage daughter to this place of pain and memory, where ghosts of an unresolved youth still haunt the fields and stables—and where hope lives in the eyes of the handsome, gentle veterinarian Annemarie loved as a girl . . . and in the seductive allure of a trainer with a magic touch.

But everything will change yet again with one glimpse of a white striped gelding startlingly similar to the one Annemarie lost in another lifetime. And an obsession is born that could shatter her fragile world.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 499 pages
  • Publisher: Thorndike Press; Lrg edition (16 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1410442632
  • ISBN-13: 978-1410442635
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,195,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sara lives in America with her husband, three children, two dogs, two cats, three goats, and a horse. She already has her eye on another horse and a donkey.

Product Description


."..a moving story of loss, survival and renewal."" Publisher's Weekly"" --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Sara Gruen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Water for Elephants and Riding Lessons. She lives with her husband and three children in a conservation community outside Chicago.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent page turner 12 May 2004
By Joanna
From the terrific opening chapter where Olympic hopeful Annemarie Zimmerman has the accident which will shape her life, this book keeps you hooked. Annemarie, the narrator, is not always likeable but the reader cannot help being swept along with her as she struggles to make a new start in life, understand her family and come to terms with what happened 18 years ago. Gruen has got a suberb writing style, literate but non-flashy, fluent and with an excellent sense of pacing so the action never flags. She is also superb at conveying the magic of horses without this book being in any sense 'horsey'. Though much of the action of the book is concerned with Annemarie's search to find out who her rescue horse really is this is a story about people and their relationships to each other and it is very well done indeed. Some of the charecterisation could have been deeper - Eva the 15 year old daughter is tiresomely one note in her never-ending stroppiness - and Gruen veers into straight cliches at times - such as the French riding instructor who can whip up a superb meal just like that. Even so, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Reccomended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read 1 Dec 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I bought this bok because I love horse stories even though I am middle aged and cant have one (damn!). Right from the start I was gripped by the story and couldnt put it down until I knew what had happened. The characters were strong and pulled me straight in. I just felt like I was a part of it all. It must be good coz i bought the follow on, Flying Changes straight away on finishing this one.
This is a book that I will read and read again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun and easy to read 26 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't read one of hers before and am looking forward to Flying Changes. It has good humour and the plot is pretty good, though a little far-fetched. I would definitely recommend it, particularly to anyone who loves horses (as I do). I don't usually enjoy American novels, but this is lovely and good fun. I felt like I really knew all the characters and could empathise with them.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sensitively written... 12 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Really enjoyable book for those with or without a knowledge of horses. Touches on so many different difficult aspects of relationships. You can really feel Anne Marie's pain and passion. Have just ordered the sequel 'Flying Changes'.

Lindsell, Essex
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3.0 out of 5 stars Epic Angst 7 Jan 2013
By J.R.W.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There were parts of this novel that really shone for me. Being a horse lover/rider all of my life, I did enjoy aspects of the book, but I did feel it was lacking in cohesion and believability.
A young rider, intent on becoming an Olympic hopeful, has a tragic accident which stops her career dead in its tracks, and her horse is humanely destroyed. Behind the scenes to this opening are the pushy parents, desperate to get her back in the saddle, but even after the long recovery process in hospital is complete; Annemarie already knows, she will never ride again. Horses are not part of her future and she marries in haste to escape the black hole in her past.
The marriage fails of course, and again I could swallow all that, but then she loses her job too and her father has only months to live, and her daughter is going through a teenage phase... and on it goes.
Overall, I felt there was too much angst around Annemarie, and not quite enough action. Parts of it were over-written and over-explained with detail I didn't need, and when she tried to dye the horse with human hair dye, I found myself tutting a lot!
There were sections that really gripped me, but then it seemed to lose momentum, and the relationships between Annemarie and her parents and daughter were a little detached, but then resolved very quickly at the end.
A good story on the whole, with some touching moments, but I didn't warm to any of the characters... oh, except the horses, they were the real stars and mostly well portrayed.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I was expecting, sadly. 26 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this book on a website with recommendations for horsey books, and read the sample. The first chapter or so is brilliant - enough to get me to buy the book - but sadly it does not last. It's a nice idea, but for me there was far too much focus on the relationships of the protagonist (Annemarie Zimmer), who had just gone through a divorce and was coping with a difficult daughter. I would have like a lot more attention to the horses, which is what I wanted to read about.

I'm afraid I am unlikely to read the next book. It's a good idea but it just didn't work for me.
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