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Flying Changes by Sara Gruen

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Sara Gruen has done it again! “Flying Changes”, the amazing sequel to Gruen’s book “Riding lessons”, is another emotional roller coaster. There’s happiness and sorrow in everything that happens in main character, Annemarie Zimmer’s hectic life. Like in “Riding Lessons”, Annemarie has many stressors (like her complicated love life and her daughter’s attitude) that cause her constant emotional distress. She has to make many tough, but big decisions that could change her, or her daughter’s life forever. Annemarie learns a lot about how hard moving on can be in this eventful book.
Annemarie and her daughter, Eva, live with Annemarie’s mother, Mutti (as you would find out in the book before this one). This has its positives and negatives. Annemarie helps with the barn riding lessons and occasionally-secretly-rides her magnificent horse Hurrah while Eva is becoming more of a truly amazing rider. She gets more competitive and wants to move up in the competition, but after Annemarie’s horrible show jumping accident, she’s a bit hesitant to even let her ride. This conflict between mother and daughter is constantly flaring and this causes a lot of issues. Eva gets in a load of trouble at school and with life in general. She makes a lot of mistakes that really concern Annemarie. This is when Annemarie finally realizes that moving on and just letting Eva ride may be the only choice she has... and her only hope of saving Eva from worse trouble. She has to make the extremely difficult decision of letting Eva ride at three-time Olympic medalist, Nathalie Jenkins’ stables. This decision is difficult for Annemarie because not only would Eva be riding horses regularly, but she would be living there too. On top of this heart-wrenching decision Annemarie has to make, she also has to figure out her love life with Dan. He owns and operates a horse rescue facility. Unfortunately this keeps him pretty busy with always rescuing and hauling horses back and forth, so he’s never home. This has Annemarie upset the majority of the time and she feels like she has no one to go to for comfort.

All this emotional conflict in one life can be really hard on a person. Both this book and “Riding Lessons” really talk about life and how difficult things can get within one phone call. People are always changing, unfortunately not everyone wants to allow it. Annemarie has to really think long and hard about what is important and what is best for her daughter, but even if she does know, she just has trouble accepting it. I would recommend this book to all ages because, young or old, we go through the hardest things constantly, we just have to learn how to deal with them. There are lessons to be learned about life and the changes we all go through and how easily we can lose control.





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