Monday, July 6, 2009

Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen

From the Publishers: A stunning new voice in American fiction, Sara Gruen makes a masterful debut with a novel of family, tragedy, rebirth ... and the breathtaking love of something wild. As a world-class equestrienne and Olympic contender,Annemarie Zimmer lived for the thrill of flightatop a strong, graceful animal. Then, at eighteen, atragic accident destroyed her riding career and Harry,her beloved and distinctively marked horse. Now, twenty years later, Annemarie is coming hometo her dying father's New Hampshire horse farm. Jobless and abandoned, she is bringing her troubled teenaged daughter to this place of pain and memory, where ghosts of an unresolved youth still haunt the fields and stables -- and where hope lives in the eyes of the handsome, gentle veterinarian Annemarie loved as a girl ... and in the seductive allure of a trainer with a magic touch.

But everything will change yet again with one glimpse of a red and white striped gelding startlingly similar to the one Annemarie lost in another lifetime. And an obsession is born that could shatter her fragile world.

My Thoughts:
I got this book because I absolutely adored Water for Elephants. It's not that I was disappointed with this book because I wasn't but I didn't find that it had the same pizazz as Gruen's bestseller. I never grew up around horses but I had a friend in high school who had a horse at a barn and went with her a few times to watch her ride. I myself have never rode a horse but when I watch people it looks exhilarating. I found myself really involved in this book and wanting the characters to get along. I have to say I found the main character to be frustrating. I could just see her making all kinds of mistakes with her daughter (I myself am 27 with no children so what do I know) and with her parents and I just wanted to shake her sometimes. I almost felt like while I could sympathize with the main character's sadness for not being as close with her daughter and parents, I could sympathize more with her daughter and mother. I would not know how to communicate with a woman like that. In the end I really wanted to know what else was going to happen. So... to feed my book addiction I went out and bought the next book in the series. Stay tuned for that review. I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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