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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 (187 )
5 star
 (39)
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3.8 (43 )
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Story
4.0 (44 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    James Springfield, MO, United States 10-06-12
    James Springfield, MO, United States 10-06-12 Member Since 2010

    New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    800
    ratings
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    502
    477
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    Story
    "Oh Well"

    This 38 year old woman, loses her job, finds out her husband is leaving her for a 23 year old bombshell and that her 15 year old daughter is about to be expelled from school all in one day. Her response is pretty much, Oh Well, Que sera. It is not until she finds a tattoo on her daughters boob, that she seems to show much emotion.

    In the author's defense, we find out later that she is 1. Rich, 2. Not in love with her husband and 3. Has never disciplined her daughter thus leading to this Que Sera response to these things. In the four hours that I listened we find out that all she cares about is herself and horses.

    After reading Water For Elephants I was eager to read another book by Gruen. This turned out to be her debut novel and not meant for my taste. It is actually well written, but it seems to be written for a different audience. Horse lovers might like it and adult women who have yet to mature. This did not have good reviews when I bought it and I should have know better. I will only listen to more Gruen, if I see she get reviews similar to Water For Elephants.

    The narrator was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret R. Yoder MUNFORD, TN, United States 04-11-12
    Margaret R. Yoder MUNFORD, TN, United States 04-11-12 Member Since 2011

    rescue dog transporter

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    7
    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
    543
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    493
    276
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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 MISSOULA, MT, United States 06-29-11
    Chaska MISSOULA, MT, United States 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 Fall Creek, WI, United States 09-04-09
    Muriel Fall Creek, WI, United States 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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    114
    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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