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- Publié sur Amazon.com
AnneMarie Zimmer was a contender, destined for the high circuits of horse jumping, with her precious Highland Harry. But when Harry breaks a leg on a jump and sends AnneMarie to the hospital, paralyzed with a broken neck, her dreams, and her family's dreams, are shattered.
Years later, Annemarie is recovered, married with a 15 year old daughter, and has never ridden a horse since the death of Harry. Then her life falls apart again, one-two-three. One, she loses her job. Two, her daughter is failing school and her husband announces he's leaving her for a mistress. Three, Annemarie discovers her vital father has advanced ALS. Broken and in shock, Annemarie returns with Eva, her daughter, to the farm where she was raised to see and help care for her father.
With Eva out of control at fifteen (getting piercings, tattoos, smoking, wanting to date, running away, etc), her father deteriorated to barely functional in a wheelchair, and her husband shacked up with a much younger woman, Annemarie loses control of her life. She takes over management of the stables and discovers her mother (Mutti) was right when she said Annemarie couldn't handle the responsibility.
But in the midst of the chaos of her life comes a ragged horse saved by veterinarian and old boyfriend Dan, a liver colored brindle as rare as Annemarie's beloved Harry. Annemarie adopts the recalcitrant horse, rescued from a slaughter pen, and begins to work with him. But when she finds out the one-eyed horse is none other than Harry's brother Highland Hurrah, pronounced dead by former owner to collect a cool million-plus in insurance, she fears that Hurrah may be taken away from her.
Sara Gruen is a talent to be reckoned with. Not only are her characters fully fleshed and unique, but they breathe with the life she has put into them. You'll feel like they are your own friends or neighbors, someone you know intimately. Annemarie is a person you can relate to, making mistake after mistake but always finding a way to deal with the problems, even if her resolutions are late at times. Eva is far from a perfect child, making her own mistakes and showing herself to be her mother's daughter.
'Riding Lessons' is a story of human triumph and defeat, of mistakes made and corrected, of real life slapping you across the face when you least expect it. The pains of losses are balanced by family, friends, and personal drive to become something before life passes swiftly by. Not to mention, the love of the great, beautiful beasts we call horses. When love overcomes tragedy, there are tears and smiles and sighs to experience. 'Riding Lessons' give us all of that and more.
I highly recommend picking up Sara Gruen's other book, 'Water For Elephants', especially if you liked riding lessons. 'Water For Elephants' has even more maturity in Gruen's writing, but this first book is an amazing accomplishment for a novice writer. I highly recommend 'Riding Lessons'. Enjoy!