Monday, July 23, 2012

Riding Lessons (Sara Gruen)

Enjoying this book at Kettle Lakes Provincial
Park!  (But it wasn't until I was relaxing
on beautiful Manitoulin Island that
it got finished!
I first bought this book because I was looking for a fourth book for a "Buy 3, get the 4th free" sale.  I had already read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (which I loved), so I decided to give her another try. 

In Riding Lessons, Annemarie Zimmer and her teenage daughter, Eva, move back to Annemarie's childhood home when things start to get difficult - she has lost her job, is going through a divorce, and her father is dying.  When she returns home, she's reminded of a past that she'd left behind - riding horses - since, as a teenager she was an Olympic contender until an accident crashed all hopes of her dreams coming true.  It all becomes a lot to handle and she struggles with all of her relationships (with her mother, daughter, and old love interests).  Throughout all this, enter a white striped horse that reminds her of the horse she used to ride - will this help her to regain some of the passion she had lost or just make everything more difficult?

I wasn't disappointed with Riding Lessons, but I found it didn't entirely live up to my expectations, probably because I remember how much I enjoyed Water for Elephants.  If you're comparing the two books, Water for Elephants would definitely come out on top.

If you look at this book for what it is, without comparing it to other works by Gruen, then I would say that I really enjoyed it.  I'm not a huge fan of horses - while I enjoy looking at them and think that they are beautiful animals, I think that they're giant and they kind of scare me a bit - and there was a lot about them in this book (obviously).  I've never been a rider, so some of the terminology was a little bit foreign to me, but the overall concepts in the book were heartwarming.  The book demonstrates the rollercoaster of Annemarie's life and really shows how deep a person's love for an animal can be.

I thought it was a great, quick summer read.  There is a sequel, Flying Changes, which maybe I will dive into someday...

No comments:

Post a Comment