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Preview — Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen
Riding Lessons (Riding Lessons #1)
As a world-class equestrienne and Olympic contender, Annemarie Zimmer lived for the thrill of flight atop a strong, graceful animal. Then, at eighteen, a tragic accident destroyed her riding career and Harry,...more
There is something to be said for the tragic character, and in many respects that’s exactly what Annemarie is. And if it hadn’t been ...more
In any case, that phrase recurred in my brain as I read this book. Gruen is a good writer, but an editor really needed to slap her hand away from the crisis button during the review of this book. I mean, the main character is getting divorced, barely on speaking terms with her parents, oh wait, her father is dying so that helps things in that scena ...more
To me, it read like one big cliche. Woman has horrible riding accident and loses beloved horse (which has an unusual white brindle pattern that was described as "striped" often enough to ...more
And I have to admit, as I read "Flying Changes", the sequel, I continue to have pangs of jealousy and regret at not reaching the leve ...more
I picked it up because I loved the author's book "Like Water For Elephants"but this book is not bringing me that same level of enjoyment. I am not certain if it is the book or the person reading it, but I dislike both the main character Annemarie and her Daughter, Eva. Both seem to be in perpetual states of anger - shrieky anger. Some of that may be the person reading who, the actress is just driving me up a wall. Everything is overdramatic.
Annemarie and her ...more
The main character is what did it for me. I was expecting to read about a mom who, yes, was going through difficulties with her family, daughter, etc, but who still had some backbone at least. Annemarie definitely did not display anything like that, throughout the whole novel. She was no better than a teenager, and honestly, ...more
In Riding Lessons, we meet Annemarie Zimmer, a former Olympic-class equestrian competitor whose tragic accident twenty years prior ruined her career. She is now 38 and her life is falling apart. At first you may feel pity for her as she loses her job, her teenage daughter gets expelled ...more
I really liked it. I thought Annemarie Zimmer was a wonderful character. She is so completely self-absorbed and in dire need of a good therapist. I found her absolute inability to cope with life hysterical (and her inner self-talk is downright funny...especially her first cooking-for-the-new-boyfriend date with Dan.)
On the more serious side, Annemarie has ...more
What can I say... I was reading the book and enjoying it and then I just had to go on Amazon to see what the other reviews said and once I read those, that's all I could think about when I went back to reading it. But - what I did like: the imagery. Chapter after chapter I could picture the horses, the barns, the riding lessons, the tack room, the stalls... I even imagined the trainer to look like the one I had in High School. In one of the chapters, describing a riding lesson, I ...more
oh, horses. i do love them. the writing stood up, which was nice to see. i love the idea of harry, of eve and flicka . . . mutti and - i wish there was more resolution with regards to annemarie and pappa. i still didn't like how that ended. i don't feel like there was peace. i wanted her to bring him to the stall with his carrots. i liked jean-phillipe better.
of course, i went out and rode my horse after finishing this. someday he might be balanced enough to complete even a tr ...more
Sara is much more famous for Water for Elephants, her New York Times bestseller. I never got around to reading it and all six of the local copies were checked out, so I suppose it’s still quite popular.
But this book – oh, it is unapologetic in its horsiness. She could have dumbed it down and made it a bestseller, perhaps, and I love her so much for keeping it tech ...more
Fast forward 20 years. Annemarie is laid off from her job and her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Feeling as helpless as she did after the accident destroyed her future plans, she takes her rebellious teenage daughter and returns to her parents’ New Hampshire horse farm and riding academy. There, the vital f ...more
Almost twenty years later she finds herself without a job, due to being laid off; without a husband, since Roger left her for a twenty-three year-old intern; and without a way to rei ...more
Sara Gruen's novel Riding Lessons took me back to those years of pre-teen longing for an equine companion. Annemarie Zimmer was a champion eventer as a teenager; she and her be ...more
If nothing else, she did butt-loads of research -- but I'd like to step out on a limb (without knowing anything about the author) and venture a guess that she has at some point spent a less-than-healthy amount of time around the animals (in the opinion of a sane individual, which I am not). Having done so myself, the quality of the ...more
I just couldn't get that thought out of my head. I felt the writing was very similar in style and content to a Mills and Boon style book. I'm not knocking Mills and Boon books as they can be a good ice breaker when you're struggling with readers block. At least when you're reading ...more
So, to sum up. Flawless, flawless writing. Flawless characterizations. But the main character.....just as patently unlikable and abrasive on the last page as she was in the beginning. There was character development, but she's just....so, so unlikable. The ending was really too good for what she had earned. She had earned a bittersweet ending, but wound up getting everything handed to her on a platter. Not satisfying at all.
I would love to ...more