Flying Changes (Riding Lessons, #2)
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Flying Changes (Riding Lessons #2)

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  3,696 ratings  ·  364 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
Paperback, 371 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2004)
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leg
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...more
Suzette
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...more
Carrie
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
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...more
stephanie
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...more
Su
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.
Alethea
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
Mackay
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...more
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...more
Nancy
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,...more
Sandy
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
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
Ingrid
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
Diane
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...more
Nancy
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
Rene
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
Kayla
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...more
Jenny
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!
Linda
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...more
Miquaelia
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.
Deb
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.
Cheryl
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.
Jim Fromm
This book moved me to tears.

My father worked with horses. My daughter has 26 horses. My. grand daughter is riding in the Nationals a Yet I never understood the bond between a rider and a horse until I read this book. When I understood, it moved me to tears. Not the kind of tears that break your heart, the kind that humble you and broaden your appreciation of life. There is plenty of human drama in this story, but it the descriptions of competitive show riding are so truthful they leave you with...more
Christine
I just finished this sequel to Riding Lessons and I have to say I loved both books equally. I’ve been reading a lot of book reviews lately and I must say I am completely confounded. In addition to the glowing reviews (which, let’s face it, every book has at least a few because a universally hated book is truly a rare thing), a lot of the other reviews tend to fall into two camps. The first is that the book is trite, silly, predictable, &/or unrealistic and the reader just couldn’t care less....more
Gail
This book will be enjoyed the most by people who are familiar with horses and horseback riding, especially Hunter/Jumper style show riding. It is the story of a single mother with a rebellious teen-aged daughter who is horse-crazy but an excellent rider. Following in her mother's footsteps, the daughter is fearless on the back of a horse. Knowing the dangers all too well from a riding accident earlier in her own life, the mother closes her eyes when watching her daughter compete during the most...more
Robyn
Mar 09, 2009 Robyn rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Horse Lovers
I saw this book at Border's in a bargain bin around X-mastime and picked it up basically because it was written by Sara Gruen and I LOVED Water for Elephants.

As others have mentioned, this book is actually a sequel to an earlier book she wrote (Riding Lessons), but I didn't find it all that hard to be jumping into the storyline. While it was obvious Gruen didn't want to be too detailed about things that happened in the other book (so as not to bore those who did raed it), she did tell enough so...more
Kerry Hennigan
Sara Gruen's sequel to "Riding Lessons" is equally wonderful. In "Flying Changes" Annemarie Zimmer and her mother, daughter Eva and boyfriend Dan once again endure all sorts of personal hiccups, heartaches and disasters - many of them involving horses... or past loves.

Eva is increasingly becoming a handful for Annemarie. When the girl gets expelled from school, Annemarie is at her wits end to know what to do with her wayward daughter.

Then a wonderful opportunity presents itself for Eva to learn...more
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omg its the best 1 6 Sep 04, 2012 03:15PM  
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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
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“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.” 8 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.” 5 likes
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