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Riding Lessons | [Sara Gruen]

Riding Lessons

As a world-class equestrian and Olympic contender, Annemarie Zimmer lived for the thrill of flight atop a strong, graceful animal. Then, at 18, a tragic accident destroyed her riding career and Harry, the beautiful horse she cherished. Now, 20 years later, Annemarie is coming home.
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Publisher's Summary

As a world-class equestrian and Olympic contender, Annemarie Zimmer lived for the thrill of flight atop a strong, graceful animal. Then, at 18, a tragic accident destroyed her riding career and Harry, the beautiful horse she cherished.

Now, 20 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.

©2004 Sara Gruen; (P)2008 HighBridge Company

What the Critics Say

"So exquisitely written it's hard to believe that its also a debut." (Booklist)
"A moving story of loss, survival and renewal." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (210 )
5 star
 (42)
4 star
 (69)
3 star
 (59)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
 (16)
Overall
3.6 (65 )
5 star
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4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (64 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Kathy United States 06-08-08
    Kathy United States 06-08-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    319
    ratings
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    1437
    53
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    10
    6
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    "Thumbs Down"

    I, too, was excited to see a new book from Gruen but this book isn't in the same league as Water for Elephants.
    I suppose it isn't fair to expect an author to hit it out of the park every time but this book makes me think she hired her kid sister to take her turn at bat. ::: sigh:::
    Ah well, back to waiting for a third book and a seat behind home plate.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 05-21-08
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 05-21-08 Member Since 2014

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gave me whiplash..."

    I couldn't decide whether to bond with Anne Marie Zimmer, or to laugh at her. Almost a self-parody, she went from one calamity to the next and the net effect on me was whiplash.

    It's a good story, well-written, but the narration is over the top in drama and there are just too many accents. I don't read a printed book with accents, why do I need to listen to them?

    It's a very different novel than "Water for Elephants" and anyone expecting something similar will be disappointed. It's an entertaining story, and compelling, but unfortunately all the loud voices and drama detract.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lyl nashville, tn, United States 07-03-15
    lyl nashville, tn, United States 07-03-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Main character not likeable"

    subject matter wonderful. love the author. wanted to slap main character. Horrible case of the ME ME ME's. All about how events affected her. No empathy for others. No caring about what the event meant to others. UGH!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jaybean 06-12-15
    jaybean 06-12-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another reader with bad accents"
    What disappointed you about Riding Lessons?

    The reader inserted accents that were not spot on and detracted from the performance.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I enjoyed reading about the world of horses and "eventing". The plot was too thin and unrealistic. The Main character Annemarie was not in the least bit believable or likeable.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Maggi-Meg Reed’s performances?

    Maybe


    What character would you cut from Riding Lessons?

    Harriet, it disturbed me to think a daschund would be allowed to jump off a bed. Was she not concerned for the dogs sensitive spine ?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Cooley 06-10-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meaning of endurance"

    Excellently written by Ms Gruen, portrait of a family, their struggles, love, hate, love of horses, battling each other and never giving up...narration by Maggi-Meg Reed, fabulous, bringing every emotion to life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret R. Yoder 04-11-12

    rescue dog transporter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    7
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    "Not long enough!"

    This is a really good story that ended too quickly. That is the best thing I can say about a book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 10-12-11
    Patti Chittenango, NY, United States 10-12-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excuse my Language ...she's a stupid witch!"

    Like others have said, this is not Water For Elephants. The main character is self-centered. Anything she does wrong or stupid, she has an excuse for. Anything anyone else does that is 1) as she asked or 2) wrong or stupid -- she shreiks about! And as much as I disliked (hugely) that part of the story, this is where the narration did its best. She screamed and ranted for Anne Marie as it would have sounded in real life, I imagine. Amazingly, for all her obnoxiousness (and this is the worst part of the story), everything ends happily ever after. She doesn't change a thing and -- poof! -- it all comes out wonderful in the end. I don't get it. I wish my life could be like that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chaska 06-29-11
    Chaska 06-29-11

    Chaska

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ideal escape into one horsewoman's life"

    As I read this person's account of her traumatic and challenging adventures, I BECAME her. My reading times transported me out of myself and my own routines and problems, which I greatly enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrew cambridge, MA, United States 08-22-08
    andrew cambridge, MA, United States 08-22-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "shrill"

    I usually like an unlikeable protagonist .yes Anne Marie was selfish and shallow .I didn't mind that but whining ,screeching and droning I can live without

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 06-12-08
    Jennifer 06-12-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good writing/bad reading"

    I enjoyed the story line of this book - although it was very difficult for me to sympathize with the protagonist. She seemed to bring the world down on herself and just did stupid things constantly. The reader of this book may have contributed to my lack of sympathy for the protagonist. It felt like her reading and relationship to the characters were a bit too forced. It was a good book since I had nothing else to do but drive, but it isn't one I'd listen to again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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