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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

3.4 (192 )
5 star
 (38)
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 (60)
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3.6 (50 )
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Story
3.9 (49 )
5 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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  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 05-21-08
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 05-21-08 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4425
    ratings
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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
  •  
    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 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    584
    ratings
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    499
    282
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Muriel 09-04-09
    Muriel 09-04-09 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I really enjoyed it."

    I'm always looking for something horsey to read. I really enjoyed this book. Was it a little predictable? Sure. Did the mom make stupid decisions? Of course, but the world is full of people who have made bad decisions. I still enjoyed it. I liked it so much, in fact, that since Audible doesn't have the sequel I will have to buy it in print.

    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 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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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 Nineveh, IN, USA 06-12-08
    Jennifer Nineveh, IN, USA 06-12-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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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
  •  
    Toni Silver Spring, MD, United States 06-16-10
    Toni Silver Spring, MD, United States 06-16-10 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Infuriating"

    OMG. I found myself screaming at the stupidity of this woman. The only saving grace was the narrator. She was excellent!! I've never wanted a book to end so fast in my life and the saddest part is I couldn't stop listening to it because I needed to hear what next dumb thing she would do.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Maplewood, MN, United States 06-06-08
    Joanna Maplewood, MN, United States 06-06-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So So"

    I think I would have maybe enjoyed this book if I had read it. Although I thought the main character was incredibly stupid. The real clincher for the low rating was the reader's dramatics and screeching. She just really grated on my nerves.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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