Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Flying Changes” as Want to Read:
Flying Changes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Flying Changes (Riding Lessons #2)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  4,491 ratings  ·  409 reviews
Anxiety rules Annemarie Zimmer's days—the fear that her relationship with the man she loves is growing stagnant; the fear that equestrian daughter Eva's dreams of Olympic glory will carry her far away from her mother . . . and into harm's way. For five months, Annemarie has struggled to make peace with her past. But if she cannot let go, the personal battles she has won an ...more
Audio, 0 pages
Published April 12th 2011 by HarperAudio (first published January 1st 2004)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Flying Changes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Flying Changes

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This was a terrible, terrible book. I picked it after it was recommended to me as a good horsey novel, and the only thing that kept me reading all the way through was sick curiosity. I wanted to see if the ending would be as trite as I predicted. It was.

The main character is self-absorbed, unlikeable, and her flaws are not entertaining enough to make her unlikeable yet interesting (as I'm someone who enjoys unlikeable yet interesting characters). For example: she throws a hissy fit when her extr
A friend gave me a bunch of iPad books and this was among them; I don't know how I didn't realize that the author was the same as Water for Elephants, but when I finished and realized it, a lot made sense.

Let's get one thing out of the way right now; I think horse people are on the crazy side. There, I said it. If you're a horse person and don't think you're crazy, you're probably wrong but it's OK. Anyway, the book starts out with lots of horse stuff and I was a bit put off by it, but figured h
Fantastic – I had no idea there was still melodramatic horse fiction for grownups! Annamarie Zimmer is almost forty, newly divorced and living on her mother’s horse farm. In her former life, she was a Olympic level equestrian, but that all changed after her tragic accident (isn’t that how it always goes?) When her teenage daughter decides to ride competitively, Annamarie has to come to terms with her daughter’s choice and her own history. And then the last third of the book takes a spectacular t ...more
Em W
That was…pretty bad. The main character was really annoying (everything makes her cry). I can't believe this is the same author as Water for Elephants.
Based on the reviews I read before starting this second book following Riding Lessons, I was worried I wasn't going to like this. I'm so glad I stayed on course. I loved this book. It probably helps that I have ridden horses, shown horses, and own a horse. I've ridden English and Western and jumped fences. I know exactly what it means when the smell of a barn warms your heart. There is something about a teenage girl and a horse. It's a bond hard to understand.
Annemarie is not an easy character
Mary Catherine
After reading WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, I wanted to read anything by Sara Gruen. I found RIDING LESSONS and FLYING CHANGES easily and knew I wanted to read them just based on their summaries. I’m both fascinated and terrified of horses and these two novels granted me a glimpse into the lives of those who breathed the animals in and out on a daily basis.

RIDING LESSONS begins with a potential Olympian equestrian – Annemarie Zimmer – in a terrible and tragic accident. In shock and filled with a sadness
sequel to Riding Lessons, this is more the story of eva than annemarie, except not. eva gets a more central role, but annemarie is still the driving force - behind everything.

again, gruen writes about the special bond between a horse and a person, and she does it so well it makes my heart ache. this completes the story she was telling earlier, and i think it's stronger than her first go. (not just because the image of a blue roan doing one-tempi changes makes me swoon.)

this is more of a roman
Patti Salmon
Having read Riding Lessons, I figured I would continue on with Flying Changes. I found I was getting more and more aggravated with the characters in this book. The mother is a whiney, self centered marshmallow of a woman, and her daughter Eva is SUCH a brat with no respect for her monther or anyone else that I wanted to scream. Yes I ride horses, and yes I am a horsewoman and this is probably why the storyline bothered me SO very much. All very predictable but in such an annoying way, like nails ...more
Well, I finished the book , so I figured it at least deserved two stars. I was very disappointed in it because I had read the novel Water For Elephants by the same author and absolutely loved it. This was a story about equestrians, their horses, their love lives, their past problems etc. I guess there was a prequel to it, but I have no desire to go back and read it. I guess I would just describe it as poor chick lit.
How can this be the same author as the one who wrote Water for Elephants? Similar to Admission, which I recently finished, Flying Changes also has a late-30s self-centered somewhat pathetic female protagonist who I almost had to abandon midway through. Skip this one, even if you did spend more of your youth on rather than off horses!
I devoured this in just a few days and found myself trying to squeeze in "just a few more pages" here and there. This picks up where Riding Lessons leaves off and continues to focus on AnneMarie, her daughter Eva, and AnneMarie's mother, Mutti, as Eva makes the decision to ride (and jump) competitively - forcing AnneMarie to face her fears related to her accident 20+ years prior. Gruen ties up quite a few loose ends left in the plot after Riding Lessons, as well as throwing in some dramatic twis ...more
I read this because, as the friend who suggested it said, "it's about horses and it's easy to read"--and I'd read the first book. Gruen was the new hot thing after "Water For Elephants." But honestly, this book isn't worth the time it took to read.

It isn't so much ABOUT horses as that there are horses in it. The heroine-narrator drove me nuts. What a mess. She never learns or grows or changes--she's just a whiny, self-involved jerk. Her daughter is just like her, only a teenager. Which is worse
Andrea Larson
I picked up this book at the library because I enjoyed Gruen's other book, Water for Elephants, so much. Though I didn't enjoy this one as much, it was a good read all the same.

The story is about three horsewomen, most notably, Annemarie Zimmer, a 40 year old single mother of Eva, 16. Her mother, Mutti, and Austrian "character" also lives with them on their horse farm, where they teach riding lessons.

Annemarie has fairly recently recovered from being paralyzed by a jumping accident, in which sh
A Wonderful story woven around horses

My friend gave this book for my birthday. We are both avid readers and she knew that I had read Sara Gruen's "Riding Lessons". I really enjoyed that book and I was delighted to receive the sequel, Flying Changes. With eager eyes I sat down that evening and read the book (well almost, I finished it up the following evening). It goes without saying that Ms. Gruen is a wonderful storyteller and she continued that ability in this story. I'm not expert on horses,
I would give this book 4 1/2 stars if I could because I really enjoyed the story, but it doesn't go on my list of all time favorites and I didn't enjoy it as much as Water for Elephants so I didn't give it a 5. I did, however, think it was a better story than Riding Lessons. (I am surprised that it does not mention on the cover of Flying Changes that the story is a continuation from Riding Lessons. Although you could easily read it and enjoy it without having read Riding Lessons.) Anyway, good b ...more
I picked up this book for 2 reasons...Sara Gruen (water for elephants) and the story of a mother and teenager daughter. The author has clearly lived with teenage females! Not as good as W.F.E - just didn't pack the same punch but glad to spend the time I spent reading it.
It's rare for a sequel to be better than the first novel, but this is certainly true of "Flying Changes" compared to "Riding Lessons". While I appreciate both novels, in "Flying Changes" you see the characters grow up and mature as a result of their experiences which is far more enjoyable than the last minute shift in the first book. In the sequel, Annemarie is really trying to be a better mother to her teen daughter Eva, which proves even harder than she expected. But she overcomes her fears an ...more
Enjoy Flying Changes for what it is, a fast and entertaining read, and forget what it is not - another Water for Elephants.

A rebellious teenager, a difficult horse, the teenager's mother scarred by her own riding traumas and failed relationships, the wiser than acknowledged mother's mother, sprinkled with tradegies great and small are a delicious combination for an afternoon or evening of reading. There are both oh-please! eye-rolling scenarios and some aw.......... moments and some just-plain r
I will read any book about horses. This one is written by the author of the "goodread" Water for Elephants and it took me one long night to read it. Flying Changes is as cheesy as any horse tale out there. The characters seem one dimensional. The plot is simple, uninteresting, and poorly navigated. The experience of traumatic injury is misunderstood and misrepresented. So, why did I devour the pages? Simply because it is about horses. If you do not love horses, do not read this book. I am quite ...more
Savannah Stone
I love this book so much, I really understood it. The way Sara Gruen explains some of the things in this book is so great! I really thought that I was there with the characters through all the ups and downs and all of that, but what I loved most about this book was that I could relate to it, for instance when she talked about horses I could totally see myself in the character's shoes. At some points I really wanted to cry but you start to smile because of the outcome. This book is one of my favo ...more
I've always been sort of scared of horses and have never been interested in going near them or riding one and being allergic to them doesn't help. Reading Gruen's books have opened my eyes to a whole different world. At the end of Flying Changes (book 2) I have an entirely different notion about horses. I still can't picture ever getting on one but I can now see why so many people love horses and everything else to do with them. Gruen gave such detail and heart into the backbone of this story th ...more
1.5 stars

I wanted to see if the second book would redeem the first, but I still just do not like this series. The main character and her daughter are both illogical, irrational, and down right annoying. I didn't think it was possible, but this book was more unrealistic than it's predecessor. The skills that the daughter has are BEYOND unrealistic. A 16 year old who has gotten lessons here and there up until a year prior and then became serious about riding for a year would not be able to perform
Alexandra Bogdanovic
There's a reason this novel has a permanent spot on my book tower. Well, actually there are several.
For one -- and this one is obvious -- I love horses. Like just about every girl on the planet, I fell in love with them when I was little and amassed a huge collection of plastic model horses (we all know which ones but I don't want to infringe on the trademark by naming them). Bad allergies kept me from riding until I was a teenager, but once I started, there was no stopping me.
Yes, I rode a lo
Flying Changes is the story of an almost forty year old woman, Annmarie, who is trying to put her life back together. She has been divorced for ten months and her ex husband already has a new wife and a young baby boy. Her sixteen year old daughter Eva has problems in school, is acting out and is on a downward spiral. They both live with Annmarie’s mother whom they call Mutti. They all live on a horse farm in New Hampshire. Annmarie used to a champion horse rider and used to do dressage and jump ...more
Harry Brake
Easing into the saddle again is as easy as picking this book up. I felt right back into the time I was lucky enough to be surrounded by horses and those that loved them. This book brings you back to that love if riding and everything to do with the smell of the stable, the practice ring, and more. Several times my breath was interrupted by surprises that i did not see coming in the least. After reading Water for Elephants, I wondered how good this tale could be, yet Sara Gruen is able to take wh ...more
Natasha  Briggs
If you have been around or worked with horses, this is a great book for you. It focusses on how hard you have to work to obtain your goals. Sometimes you are repeatedly slammed with failures before success represents itself.

The showing circuit is a hard life, always traveling somewhere and constantly busy. Taking care of horses is a full time job, as they rely on us for everything, they are at our mercy. Apart from always being busy with the horses, personal issues in ones life sometimes interf
I enjoyed Water for Elephants; being a horse lover, I expected to fall in love with Flying Changes. I was disappointed. The plot kept me turning pages, but it was romance-novel predictable. There was one unexpected twist for which I add an extra star to my review.

I could find no redeeming quality in the narrator, Annemarie. I could not believe that a woman who was once a world class athlete and horsewoman, and who had worked her way back from a life-threatening injury, would so easily dissolve
To be honest it was a little predictable but i still loved it. I couldnt put the book down all day. I love reading about how far people will go for their families and also horses. I want to know what ended up happening to little Squire... Poor thing.
The teenager plays more of a role in this book, she is hard to like, pretty bratty. The Mom is strong and yet not strong at the same time. The boyfriend comes in at the end and the ending is what is expected in a chick flick movie.
This was a good read for me as I love horses and this author brings her stories alive. It was also a sequel to Riding Lessons and I like sequels. I like the idea of keeping the characters going on. It gives the stories a life so to speak.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
omg its the best 1 8 Sep 04, 2012 03:15PM  
  • Horseplay
  • Chosen by a Horse
  • Beyond the Homestretch: What I've Learned from Saving Racehorses
  • Chicken Soup For The Horse Lover's Soul: Inspirational Stories About Horses and the People Who Love Them (Chicken Soup for the Soul)
  • The Horses of Proud Spirit
  • The Tao of Equus: A Woman's Journey of Healing and Transformation Through the Way of the Horse
  • A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck
  • Blind Beauty
  • The Hearts of Horses
  • Shy Boy: The Horse That Came in from the Wild
  • Horse People: Scenes from the Riding Life
  • My Favorite Mistake (The A Circuit, #2)
  • Hope Rising: Stories from the Ranch of Rescued Dreams
  • Ruffian: Burning From the Start
  • Beautiful Jim Key: The Lost History of a Horse and a Man Who Changed the World
  • All or Nothing (Chestnut Hill, #6)
  • A Horse of Her Own
  • Crazy Good: The True Story of Dan Patch, the Most Famous Horse in America
Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants has become one of the most beloved and bestselling novels of our time. Readers fell in love with Water for Elephants and its story of Jacob, a young man tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, and Rosie, the untrainable elephant. This instant #1 New York Times bestseller is now available in 44 langua ...more
More about Sara Gruen...

Other Books in the Series

Riding Lessons (2 books)
  • Riding Lessons (Riding Lessons, #1)
Water for Elephants Ape House At the Water's Edge Riding Lessons (Riding Lessons, #1) Sara Gruen Collection! 4 Books Pack Set : Water for Elephants, Ape House, Riding Lessons, Flying Changes

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“To be sure, I'm not perfect wife material: I'm neurotic. I'm compulsive. I speak before I think and can't cook worth a damn. I'm messy and germaphobic all at once, and it's not entirely unheard of for me to get hold of the wrong end of the stick and then hang there like a pitbull.” 11 likes
“But it wasn't long before the old familiar discontent started creeping up on me. I suppose it was always there, somewhere in the background. All I've done, my whole life, is keep it temporarily at bay.” 6 likes
More quotes…