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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Riding Lessons

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Riding Lessons Cover

ISBN13: 9780060580278
ISBN10: 0060580275
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Like The Horse Whisperer, Gruen's polished debut is a tale of human healing set against the primal world of horses. The Olympic dreams of teenaged equestrian Annemarie Zimmer end when her beloved horse, Harry, injures her and destroys himself in a jumping accident. In the agonizing aftermath, she gives up riding and horses entirely. Two decades later, she returns to her family's horse farm a divorcee, with her troubled teenaged daughter, Eve, in tow. There, her gruff Germanic mother struggles to maintain the farm and care for Annemarie's father, who is stricken with ALS. Although Annemarie decides (disastrously) to manage the farm's business, her attention quickly turns to an old and ostensibly worthless horse with the same rare coloring as Harry. Her long-denied passion for riding reawakens as she tracks the horse's identity and eventually discovers it to be Harry's younger brother. She must heal both horse and herself as she struggles with her father's deterioration, Eve's rebellion and her attraction to both the farm's new trainer and her childhood sweetheart Dan. Impulsive and self-absorbed, Annemarie isn't always likable, but Gruen's portrait of the stoic elder Zimmers is beautifully nuanced, as is her evocation of Eve's adolescent troubles. Amid this realistically complex generational sandwich, the book's appealing horse scenes — depicted with unsentimental affection — help build a moving story of loss, survival and renewal. (Apr.) Forecast: Never underestimate the public's fascination with horses. Harper Torch certainly isn't; the house is launching Gruen's debut with an impressive 400,000-copy first printing. While this book isn't likely to be the next Seabiscuit, its striking cover image, featuring a silhouette of a wild horse, will help attract a broad spectrum of readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"So exquisitely written it's hard to believe that it's also a debut." Shelley Mosley, Booklist (starred review)

Synopsis:

From a stunning new voice in American fiction comes this masterful debut with a novel of family, tragedy, rebirth, and the breathtaking love of something wild. Original.

About the Author

Sara Gruen lives with her husband and three children in a conservation community outside of Chicago. This is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Charlie Quimby, July 21, 2008 (view all comments by Charlie Quimby)
My discriminating wife and I listened to this book during a cross-country drive. Rarely would I go out of my way to diss a book this juvenile, but ...

We listened to the end only because it was all we had, and because we developed a fascination with how bad it was, wondering how the author could turn this self-centered, singularly unappealing character into someone sympathetic who grew and learned by the end.

Well, it never happened. She never grew, never became more reasonable, never took an interest in others except how they reflected back on her. In a more mature writer's hands, this might've become a powerful portrait of a totally dysfunctional, tragic character.

At some point, we lost all curiosity about how the author would redeem this character, because it was clear she wouldn't. And because she was the narrator, we never learned much of interest about any of the other characters. Eventually, it became a challenge -- could we make it to the end?

We agreed if we were reading the book, we both would've tossed it across the room long ago. But we egged each other on, taking turns predicting plot twists and laughing uproariously at the heroine's self-absorbed descriptions of her trials.

At the end, we both burst into laughter -- at relief we had made it all the way and at the author's ham-handed romance novel descriptions. Unless you like bodice rippers, learn a lesson from our experience and run, run away from this book!
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(7 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)
k1e2n3z, June 29, 2008 (view all comments by k1e2n3z)
I read this book last weekend, and was hooked- I couldn't put it down
I ran out and bought the sequel today
It was brilliant it was absolutely stunning
wonderful wonderful book!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060580278
Author:
Gruen, Sara
Publisher:
Harper
Author:
by Sara Gruen
Subject:
General
Subject:
Horses
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
MassMktPB
Publication Date:
20090526
Binding:
Book
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
6.86x4.24x1.05 in. .43 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Computers and Internet » Artificial Intelligence » Robotics
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General

Riding Lessons Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 400 pages HarperTorch - English 9780060580278 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Like The Horse Whisperer, Gruen's polished debut is a tale of human healing set against the primal world of horses. The Olympic dreams of teenaged equestrian Annemarie Zimmer end when her beloved horse, Harry, injures her and destroys himself in a jumping accident. In the agonizing aftermath, she gives up riding and horses entirely. Two decades later, she returns to her family's horse farm a divorcee, with her troubled teenaged daughter, Eve, in tow. There, her gruff Germanic mother struggles to maintain the farm and care for Annemarie's father, who is stricken with ALS. Although Annemarie decides (disastrously) to manage the farm's business, her attention quickly turns to an old and ostensibly worthless horse with the same rare coloring as Harry. Her long-denied passion for riding reawakens as she tracks the horse's identity and eventually discovers it to be Harry's younger brother. She must heal both horse and herself as she struggles with her father's deterioration, Eve's rebellion and her attraction to both the farm's new trainer and her childhood sweetheart Dan. Impulsive and self-absorbed, Annemarie isn't always likable, but Gruen's portrait of the stoic elder Zimmers is beautifully nuanced, as is her evocation of Eve's adolescent troubles. Amid this realistically complex generational sandwich, the book's appealing horse scenes — depicted with unsentimental affection — help build a moving story of loss, survival and renewal. (Apr.) Forecast: Never underestimate the public's fascination with horses. Harper Torch certainly isn't; the house is launching Gruen's debut with an impressive 400,000-copy first printing. While this book isn't likely to be the next Seabiscuit, its striking cover image, featuring a silhouette of a wild horse, will help attract a broad spectrum of readers." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "So exquisitely written it's hard to believe that it's also a debut."
"Synopsis" by , From a stunning new voice in American fiction comes this masterful debut with a novel of family, tragedy, rebirth, and the breathtaking love of something wild. Original.

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