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The Horse Dancer | [Jojo Moyes]

The Horse Dancer

Sarah's grandfather was a horseman of rare talent - only the exceptional are allowed into France's elite riding academy, Le Cadre Noir. But life took an unexpected turn, and now from a council estate in east London, the Captain hopes to train his granddaughter towards a better life.
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Publisher's Summary

Sarah's grandfather was a horseman of rare talent - only the exceptional are allowed into France's elite riding academy, Le Cadre Noir. But life took an unexpected turn, and now from a council estate in east London, the Captain hopes to train his granddaughter towards a better life.

Natasha is a lawyer whose job is to represent the best interests of children. Her confidence in her judgement has been shaken and her marriage has died - but an encounter with Sarah may lead to Natasha learning all she needs to know about life from a fourteen-year-old girl and a large horse named Boo...

©2009 Jojo Moyes; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (349 )
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4.2 (263 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-19-13
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 11-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narrator's accents distract from the story"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I think I would recommend the print version, but not the narration. Many reviewers have loved the narrator, but she doesn't do it for me. There are too many accents and she does not do many of them well - for example, the requisite American cowboy speaks VERY slowly (Americans do not speak that slowly or flatly), and her French pronunciation was atrocious!
    Still, the premise of the book is a good one, and I will read this in print.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Dallas, TX, United States 02-06-13
    Jennifer Dallas, TX, United States 02-06-13 Member Since 2006
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    "Great Book"

    I really enjoyed this book. I listen to books while I work and on a couple days I found myself working past the end of my day because I didn't want to stop listening. The horse parts were interesting and authentic enough to make a horse person (like myself) happy, while not being overpowering for people that aren't so interested in them. Yes, the main characters do make a lot of bad choices, but I still think the story as a whole was excellent. Loved the narrator too, she was easy to listen to and did the various voices well. I really didn't want the book to end. During listening to it I frequently could picture it in movie form so clearly that after it ended I went to search on google and see if it was coming out as a movie. I didn't find anything about that, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to see it as one eventually, I would go see it. It has a few swear words and a couple of not overly graphic sex scenes (one of which was unwilling), but I would still say the book would be good for anywhere from a rather mature pre-teen through adult.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deanna Lake Dallas, TX 04-18-12
    Deanna Lake Dallas, TX 04-18-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Much more than a horse story"

    This book is incredibly interesting. I had a hard time getting into the story at the beginning, but once past the first chapter I was hooked. I am a horse person, so I was able to follow all the details regarding the classical dressage, if you are not a dressage person or at least a horse person with vague knowledge of things such as the piaffe some of the jargon may make it hard to imagine what is going on.

    However the book is very much a coming of age, with extremely well written charter development and evolution - but not just for the main character, it develops and evolves several characters in real life situations and hardships.

    I adored this book and highly recommend to my fellow horse people.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Sydney NSW, Australia 04-28-11
    Amanda Sydney NSW, Australia 04-28-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Great read"

    Enjoyed this thoroughly. I'm a horsey person, and was pleased that the equestrian references had been well researched and written. And it's a great story. Although I did have the urge to slap the characters every now and then as they all kept so many secrets, but if there had been open and honest dialogue there would not have been any story to speak of.

    Well read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Fish 03-07-10
    Kathy Fish 03-07-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating storyline...Excellent naration"

    What a pleasure this audio has been. I look forward to reading and listening to audio books by Jojo Moyes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joy Annapolis MD United States 10-06-14
    Joy Annapolis MD United States 10-06-14 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Moved to tears"

    I almost returned this book after the first hour because the bouncing around between characters and their stories was a little frustrating. When the separate stories began to converge, I decided it would be worth hanging in there and seeing what happened. I'm glad I did. It's been a long time since a book has moved me to tears of happiness. Worth the credit

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ratna Northam, Australia 06-13-14
    ratna Northam, Australia 06-13-14 Member Since 2012

    Not a literary buff but enjoy classics to Neal Stephenson,Diana Gabaldon, John Irving, Haruki Marukami. Make me think. Apprec. your reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A new Jojo Fan!"
    What did you love best about The Horse Dancer?

    I really have enjoyed listening to several books by Jojo Moyes in the last month. The one you left behind; From me to you and now the Horse Dancer. Overall I am awed by jojo's ability to weave stories within stories and characterise with insight into the human condition. The difficult choices we make, sometimes despite knowing better or with disastrous consequences The Horse Dancer has captured some of the human and daily dilemmas we might face and managed to bring them to life through well developed characters. Zenaphon's words speak through time and reveal the relationship between a young 14 year old girl/woman and a beautiful horse.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Horse Dancer?

    Sarah and Boo's connection an∂ incredible trust Boo has in his rider. Zenaphon's words as I remember; "You must make the Horse do, even if he doesn't understand". The "Air" manoeuvres require this.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I think there were several moments particularly in the descriptions of Boo achieving incredible movements in the face of fear and exhaustion- as he will always show his big spirit when he wants to shine. The French Capriole (?} scene inspires.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The character of Natasha made me cringe at times, Her negativity and I think her inability to drop her defences. Why do human beings have to be "right" all the time. Justify themselves and be blind to what is before them?
    And I know I've talked about the horse alot...but there are many other issues explored in the sub plots: class; the issues for child protection services trying to find placements for children; infidelity, family connections and parenting.


    Any additional comments?

    Well done Jojo. Thank you. I'm running out of your titles to listen to though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gingerpenny95 Fairfield, Ca, United States 06-12-14
    gingerpenny95 Fairfield, Ca, United States 06-12-14 Member Since 2003
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    "Can't finish it."
    Any additional comments?

    I have tried but cannot finish this one after going half way through. The ingenue character is so unlikable and stupid I cannot feel sympathy for her. Bathe adult counterpart has no redeeming characteristics. All characters are unsympathetic and self absorbed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica 06-09-14
    Jessica 06-09-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Was expecting to be dissapointed - fear unfounded!"
    Where does The Horse Dancer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is in the top five audiobooks I have listened to. I was expecting to be at least irritated by the book - I love classical dressage and usually stay away from horse novels due to the ridiculous training methods described. In fact, I was really surprised. From about two chapters into the book I was gripped by the struggles the characters were undergoing. I felt a lot of empathy for most of them.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character development, especially of Natasha and Henri, was fantastic.


    Have you listened to any of Julia Franklin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narration was great - she does a good job with the accents.


    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to many audiobooks but this is the first time I have felt inclined to leave a review. Good job Jojo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frances Whittier, CA, United States 04-30-14
    Frances Whittier, CA, United States 04-30-14 Member Since 2012

    It's all about romance in my library! I have a wonderful husband, children and my grandchildren they are my rock.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Love this Story! This is a great book!"
    If you could sum up The Horse Dancer in three words, what would they be?

    Beautiful! Heartfelt! Memorable!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love the plot - it was a great story. To read to listen too! Jojo did an amazing job going into details about a horseman role. She's touches on every part of each main characters role - to make you understand the entire story. That's why I love her books.


    What about Julia Franklin’s performance did you like?

    Julia was awesome! I love the ascent in British and French. Julie made the story very entertaining.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not sure what you mean on one sitting - I thought is it was.


    Any additional comments?

    They need to make a movie out of this book! It would be a good movie to watch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 40 results PREVIOUS1234NEXT
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  • Katie Ford
    Guildford
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Painfully cliched with awful narration"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different story, different author and different narrator....


    What didn’t you like about Julia Franklin’s performance?

    The twelve year old girl sounds about 6, the lawyer's voice becomes so annoyingly whiney that I could see why her husband left her and Cowboy John is impossibly cliched.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It did eventually finish, that was it's only redeeming feature. That and Audible's Good Listen Guarantee


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first book by Jojo Moyes that I've read so maybe I've been expecting too much but this book had little redeeming features. I'm not a big fan of chick lit but occasionally I fancy something lighter and as this was about horses, I thought I'd give it a try.
    There just wasn't much of a story here and it's a long book! But nothing happens for ages and now I can't get back those hours spent listening to this drivel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Denise Angela Robinson
    5/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A compelling storey"
    Where does The Horse Dancer rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Defiantly near the top! I usually go for crime thrillers but this was so refreshing.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Horse Dancer?

    There were so many memorable moments that it's hard to choose, the journey from England to France with it's many fit falls and Sarah's connection and love for her horse Boo.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Franklin – was your favourite?

    The Cowboy, he was excellent!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Le P
    GUERNSEY, United Kingdom
    2/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Determination is important"
    If you could sum up The Horse Dancer in three words, what would they be?

    Empowering, triumphant, sad


    What other book might you compare The Horse Dancer to, and why?

    If you are a Jojo Moyes fan -this book has all the emotions of her work I have read in Me Before You and the Girl you left behind.


    Which character – as performed by Julia Franklin – was your favourite?

    Sarah


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes - quite melancholy - but ever so normal and engaging.


    Any additional comments?

    Be expected to laugh and cry. JM evokes a lot of human nature in her stories and I am a fan. Sarah had a really tough time, but was a very determined girl she knew what she wanted - I admired her headstrong attitude - never give up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A. Gripenstedt
    Berkshire, Surrey
    1/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book"

    Oh my I am so guilty. I think I am one of those people on the plane. Please keep your child quiet. You know this changes my whole perspective thank you I wish I had read this long ago what an inspirational person Rupert is. The lengths you went to to help your child I can only admire you. How lucky we are to have animals who keep us grounded how the help us with therapy. I only hope we appreciate them more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs Mac
    Scotland
    1/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't think you need to like horses to enjoy this book, but as I'm into classical riding and horses in general, the cover and premise drew me in.

    I wanted to slap some sense into some of the characters at times, which just proves they're believable, I suppose.

    Not a romance, not a coming of age, not a horse story - but a combination of all three. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Bournemouth, UK
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Horse Lovers!"
    Would you listen to The Horse Dancer again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen to it again, but I don't generally, there are too many other great books out there! I would recommend it to horse lovers though.


    Have you listened to any of Julia Franklin’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This is the first Julia Franklin performance I listen to. She reads the narrative well but some of the voices are not how I imagine the characters to be, for example the two main male characters have quite a strong London accent, like the local lad down the pub, but the main female character has a 'posher' accent and somehow they don't work quite as well together!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Towards the end I just wanted to sit for hours and find out what happened! It was a little slow to start though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cath
    Derby, United Kingdom
    11/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Predictable"
    What disappointed you about The Horse Dancer?

    This book just didn't work for me. It's a shame but I found the narrative very predictable and long-winded. This was't helped by the shallow characterisation. I just didn't believe in or empathise with Tash, Sara or Mac. Because of this it was hard to really care about what happened to them.

    It's a big ask to get all the accents right - English, French, American, child, adult, male and female! Some were better than others.

    It's not often that I find a book disappointing, but unlike many of the other reviewers, this one isn't for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    Glasgow, United Kingdom
    10/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    I loved this story as I was one of the girls whom Horses saved. At times it felt a little bit too incredulous and also it seemed to drag a bit in parts and a little predictable also. However, this did not stop me being hooked and desperate to hear what happens next. It is another triumph by Jo Jo Moyes and I thank her for dedicating the book to a particular group of girls, of which I was one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Gwyneth
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    10/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not her best work"
    Would you listen to The Horse Dancer again? Why?

    No, I found it a little hard to believe that the star of the show could be capable of so much at her age.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Perhaps I would have made the child a young teen


    Did Julia Franklin do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

    Yes, the French accent though was a little strange in parts, otherwise a good job!


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    As with all of Jojo's book I must admit to shedding a tear.


    Any additional comments?

    This wasn't quite as CAN'T PUT THIS ONE DOWN as some of her others

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    Chichester, United Kingdom
    7/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unconvincing storyline"

    I found most of the characters unlikeable and the plot unbelievable. The idea behind the story was good, but the telling of it was poorly executed. It would be impossible for an unfit horse to do manage half of what it went through in the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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