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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Kaelin
  • albia, IA, USA
  • 12-01-09

Wow! Amazing story start to finish

I hung on every word of this novel. I loved the narration, her animated voice was perfect for each character. The story line was well woven. Jojo did a fabulous job with the horse terminology. Being an avid dressage rider, I will suffer through a lot if it is horse related, but I never found the horse parts cliche. I even got my husband hooked on the second half after he started listening. This is a true coming of age novel for all ages!

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Marquette, MI, USA
  • 03-27-10

The best! I'd give it 10 stars if I could...

(By Carol, not Mark.) I listen to LOTS of audio books, and this is simply THE best I've ever heard, the first I've ever felt compelled to comment on. The narrator is superb, and the storyline mesmerizing; I acutally took it to bed with me a couple of evenings because I was simply unable to turn it off!

The characters are fully developed and fresh,and the horse angle authentic. The author's commentary at the end about the origins of the story is the frosting on the cake. Listen to this book!

(Now I'm going to go purchase a hard copy so I can read it for myself!)

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Marilyn
  • Petaluma, CA, United States
  • 01-07-10

You Get More That One Credit's Worth!

I long for REAL horse stories and was surprised to find this one so superbly bound together with the myriad of human experiences from the tween years to middle age to dying and death. I cannot fathom a world without my horses.

I admire the complexity of characters, plotting, and settings in which this author deftly weaves together. Though at times, it seems that too much incidental description is included, then comes the comes the moment this book needs it all so that it may be stitched back together for a satisfying conclusion.

The only down side for me was the pacing of the reader, and that is simply a cultural difference. After the first hour, I was finding it a simply elegant rendering of a very satisfying book. Well worth the credit!



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful wonderful story

Great characters, good drama interesting story all make this book a winner. Absolutely a great read especially for the horse addicted.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 05-18-13

Have the Hankies Nearby

I dare the reader/listener to keep a dry eye. This book about a young girl and her horse and her foster "family" made me feel and held my interest every in chapter. Jojo Moyes is becoming a favorite for me. This is the second book from this author I've truly enjoyed. And this one had a horse as a main character who develops a unique bond with his young rider. This is a story with adventure, family bonds, romance, betrayal, danger and redemption. I so enjoy a book that invites you in and brings you along for the ride.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • LA
  • 04-06-10

almost too much!

This was a great listen, even though I frequently found myself groaning "oh no" when one more thing went wrong. The situations and characters were so well drawn, and the beauty shone through constantly in spite of the difficult situations. The narration is excellent, and the whole book very satisfying. Worth listening through the rough moments!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Think Jodi Picoult--with horses.

What did you love best about The Horse Dancer?

I really loved the fact that, at last, someone has written a book for horse fans that is lyrical, honest, intriguing, and not gushy. Moyes obviously knows her horses. All the interactions between 13-year-old Sarah and her magnificent Selle Francais gelding stuck a very authentic note. I also loved how the storyline about Mac and Natasha realistically interwove with Sarah's story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, obviously, it has to be the horse.

Which scene was your favorite?

There isn't one particular scene that stands out for me, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of Sarah astride Boo, working on the haute ecole dressage moves that she knows are her--and her horse's--ticket to a better life.

If you could take any character from The Horse Dancer out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would take the horse, Boo, out to dinner. I'd invite him to my barn, introduce him to my own horses, feed him a delicious bucket of warm mash and then ask him if he'd let me ride him in the morning.

Any additional comments?

As I read this book, I found myself reminded of the writing of Jaclyn Mitchard and Jodi Picoult. The story had lots of twists, lots of harrowing moments that left you wondering, "Oh no, what's going to happen now?" The narration was extremely well done. All in all, it is a solid effort, an entertaining read. And, if you love horses, totally worth a token.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • lyl
  • nashville, tn, United States
  • 09-27-12

From a true Anglophile

Love the English authors! Thanks Audible for having so many available on your site. This book has an excellent plot and the information on Dressage is fascinating. I highly recommend this book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke
  • fort worth, TX, USA
  • 05-02-10

awesome book

This was book was great. The narration was good, the story was exciting, and if your a horse lover you will be happy with the accuracy of her descriptions of dressage. I especailly enjoyed the quotes from Xenophon's "On Horsemanship" at the beginning of the chapter. Although it has a happy ending, be prepared to shed some tears!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wearisome marital angst

I put the most negative thing I could say in the headline. But this part of the novel was so depressing, it niggled at my enjoyment. There's a lovely HEA but this couple was seemingly so far gone, it was almost too hard to believe that they could get there. Mac was definitely more likable than Natasha and you never quite get why he puts up with so much or, save for a sentence or 2, why he loves her enough to hang around & give another go without seemingly much question. Nevertheless, I love Jojo Moyes books. They seem "real" (life drama) & are hard to put down. Julia Franklin does a great job though there was an occasion or 2 that Mac sounded a lot like Tash. Her voice also seemed a bit older than I thought appropriate for the characters…minor criticism. Nevertheless, this is another Moyes novel that will stay with me long after the last page is read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • lynn
  • 11-03-09

Best yet!

This was one of the best books I have downloaded for a while. JoJo Moyes never disappoints. Every book is different, and this is definitely one of her best. Highly recommended even if you aren't into horses.If you have read JoJos' books before then you will not be dissapointed. If you are new to her books then this is a great place to discover her.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Susan
  • 09-16-13

Relationships - families and horses

Jojo Moyes once again draws realistic characters who have passions and foibles. This one explores human relationships and those between a girl and her horse. In this book you are drawn to Sarah and how she trains her horse in classical equitation. Whilst you are focusing and empathising with Sarah and her horse you are emotionally caught up with her home-life. Very enjoyable. My walks got longer as I wanted to know what would happen next and then of course came the downer when it had finished.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 04-16-12

Horses ....

This was my second jojo moyse book and definately won't be my last.
I have little interest in horses but after a slow start this book gripped me , the characters were well formed and the story touching and satisfying.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Sydney
  • 11-28-11

Okay

Well-written and well-read and I enjoyed the first half. As the melodrama picked up though the plot became increasingly implausible, and the characters became increasingly silly in order to make the plot happen. Could have forgiven the plot but the characters got on my nerves until I heartily disliked all of them. Matter of taste I suppose but I barely made it to the end.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Liam
  • 03-18-10

Love it...

Absolutely love this book. Quite unrealistic in parts yet a very enjoyable read and definitely one to recommend.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • ELIZABETH CROWE
  • 03-10-15

Loved it

Thought the story was lovely and thought provoking , I love horses so was a pleasure to listen to I would recommend it

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie-Anne
  • 01-17-12

Lovely book

I didn't know what to expect from this, but my pony-mad childhood came back to haunt me as I was choosing what to download next - and as so often happened in those days I made the decision because there was a nice horse on the cover. I loved it. I may not have made best friends with all the characters, but I empathised with them. One scene actually had me in tears as I was running down quite a busy road, and that's a first.

- and in fiction, I reckon a little bit of implausibility never hurt anyone...

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 09-08-16

Story soon becomes preposterous

It didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as the author’s You Before Me and The Girl you Left Behind, which have far more nuanced characters and realistic stories. The Horse Dancer starts promisingly but soon descends into an unbelievable journey to France by Sarah, a horse-mad 14 year old. It doesn’t help that most of the main characters are unpleasant and/or caricatures: Sarah is obsessive, rude and ungrateful notably when lawyer, Natasha, implausibly takes Sarah into her home after meeting her shop-lifting and then sacrifices much to help her. For most of the book Natasha is in an over-wrought state and bickering with her estranged husband, Mack. There’s just too much friction, over-blown emotion, improbable jeopardy and characters acting stupidly. The only wholly admirable character is the horse!

After hours of incessant conflict and arguments the final epilogue has the main characters implausibly transformed into a saccharine-sweet happy family.

The narrator does give the various characters distinct voices but she over-emphasizes the stridency of Natasha’s grievances and Sarah’s surly truculence, which makes both even less likeable.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • stella
  • 04-13-13

Amazing, heart warming story

Loved the story, so much so that I looked up the history of the riding school and watched clips of the riders on you tube, amazing! Brilliant writing as always, love jojo moyes books. I listen on the way to and from work and she just whisks you away to other places, fantastic way to spend a journey :) can't wait to read more of her books.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Charlotte
  • 03-19-10

Brilliant!

Great story! Captures the real love and sacrifice between a girl and her horse.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Allan Dickinson
  • 06-09-16

Males voices ruined the book

The story was wonderful however the character that played the male voices ruined the story and I believe did not portray the personality written in the words. It made me not want to listen at all. However the story line was so wonderful i kept going back.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Helen Marsh
  • 12-09-17

Generic airport reading, with a horse.

A mildly interesting, wildly implausible story, with 2-dimensional characters who perform with such moronic predictability that they are constantly surprised by what happens around them. A narrator who takes verbal stereotyping to the next level in her quest to put some life into the book’s inhabitants.

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  • Gayle Mason
  • 11-02-17

LOVED THIS

Always feel good heart warming stories beautifully written.
The characters will draw you in. Enjoy

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-27-17

Brilliant

I closely related to tnis story. Rollercoastering a variety of emotions it took me on a beautiful journey

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-16

Brilliant

Brilliant work. I loved the beautifully descriptive storyline and the emotion of the larger than life characters