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Flying Changes: A Novel Paperback – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061241091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061241093
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #626,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sara Gruen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Water for Elephants and Riding Lessons. She lives with her husband and three children in a conservation community outside Chicago.

Customer Reviews

I recommend this book to anyone that loves horses.
Jennifer Jordan
I have read both the Annemarie Zimmer books on my Kindle and could hardly put them down.
Laurel Rogers
And,the story felt predictable and contrived to me.
Barbara McArthur

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 88 people found the following review helpful By E! on July 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
First off, let me say that this book is an enjoyable read - it goes by fast for the most part. I read it in a couple days and would call it a fun book, but not something I will likely pick up again.
That being said, there are a few issues with this book and story. As others have stated, it is hard to care for the main characters, Annemarie and her daughter Eva, as they are both immature for their ages, 40 and 16. Eva runs around like a spoiled 5 year old half the time. However, I would imagine a main reason for this is the complete lack of parenting skills on Annemarie's part. She is a mother without a backbone, unable and unwilling to discipline and stand up to her daughter. When Eva gets expelled from school, what does Annemarie do? Send her off to train with a top jumper trainer in the area. Yeah, what kind of punishment is that? The girl is in need of a good bit of discipline, and the character of Annemarie falls short as a mother. She is also useless as a girlfriend to poor Dan. She is whiny and self absorbed - it is hard to believe anyone would want to be with her. And when the idea of marriage comes up, she can't even discuss it with him? What kind of adult can't discuss this sort of thing with someone they want to marry? Perhaps she should do a little growing up first. Also, even though I did read the first book, Riding Lessons, it has been a few years since I did. The author alluded to events that happened in that story without explaining them ... that made it a little more difficult since I couldn't remember exactly what occurred in the last book.
Also, there were some equine related things that I could not get past. First off, if Eva loves horses so much, then why is she galloping around on frozen ground at dawn trying to jump paddock fences? And on an older horse too ...
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By E. Corbeau on April 12, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have nothing but praise for Sara Gruen's work. Although there do seem to be some minor equestrian-related inaccuracies (cleverly explained in this sequel), both Riding Lessons and Flying Changes are really great reads that focus on realistic, character driven storylines and avoid the much-overused cliches found in most contemporary horsey fiction. While these books will not win awards for ground-breaking fiction, they are entertaining and absorbing tales of real-life situations. The romantic subplots are true to life, as is the protagonist's relationship with her daughter. Other reviewers have noted that the main character's choices and behavior are often questionable, but this is precisely what makes these books an entertaining (and sometimes enlightening) read. We can relate to the characters because they are not infallible - they show errors in judgement and emotional reactions, but continue to learn and persevere throughout. I'm eagerly awaiting a third book.
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Cindy B on August 28, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sara's first novel and its sequel. I enjoyed both of them thoroughly. In fact, it was hard to put them down and I finished them both in record time.

Annemarie, the main character, is an almost-40-year-old divorcee with a tempermental, yet adorable, teenage daughter. They move back to her parents' horse boarding stable out east (from Minnesota) where Annemarie rekindles an old romance. Dan is also in the horse business, but at a different level. His organization, Day Break, is a horse-rescue mission for abused and at-risk animals.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the transition to a different, yet familiar, living situation, being a single mom, Annemarie's parents, her new boyfriend, and especially her daughter, Eva, take its toll on her emotions and she is her own worst enemy with little effort.

But, her biggest challenge is battling old demons concerning her relationship with the true love-of-her-life, her horse Harry, and the new charge that appears later to take his place. And when Eva shows signs of having the same passion for riding and competing as Annemarie did, her motherly instincts to protect her only child from possible physical and emotional injury continue to get in the way.

What happens in the short couple of years since her husband left her grabs at your heartstrings, yet pushes your cheerleading buttons to the extent that all you want to do is see her come to terms with her life choices and be happy.

As much as I loved Water for Elephants, I have to say I really liked this story even better. Perhaps because of the gender of the MC, I don't know. In any case, I highly recommend the read.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By SweetPea on July 29, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
After reading Water for Elephants, which I adored, I immediatly went to Amazon and ordered Sara Gruen's other 2 books; one of which being Flying Changes. I was disappointed from the get-go. It was less than sophmoric and drab. I forced myself to keep reading thinking "It's gotta get better - look at how genious Elephants was." That'll teach me to think. I gave up on it yesterday after getting about 3/4 of the way through it. I started "Where's My Wand" and am extremely pleased. I'm afraid to even open the other Sara Gruen book - it may just lie under my bed in and hide in shame.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By GraniteHorse on October 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I just got my copy of FLYING CHANGES Today! I have been waiting to read the sequel since I heard there was one coming out! Once again, I could not put it down! I read this novel very quickly and that is not because it was a fast read per se, but because I got lost in the storyline and could not put it down! The cover was great too! I loved the horse in a flying change!

FLYING CHANGES has picked up exactly where RIDING LESSONS had left off. I was happy to see that the same characters were in the story, in addition to the introduction of a new breed of horse I had never heard of before, The Nokota! The brindled horse "Hurrah" has also continued into the sequel as well!

Annemarie still has many issues to deal with in this novel, but she has grown as a character and her relationship with her daughter is better as well! Eva, the daughter has come a long way too and is starting to follow in her mother's foot steps! But again, when things seem to get better, there is another tragedy for the family to surmount! And once again, Sara Gruen has realistically written the characters reactions to this tragedy and has had them deal with it in a way, I think I would, if faced with the same decisions. It makes you feel for them all, I went from happy and laughing to crying. When I read both these novels, they played like movies in my head, they were so well written! Sara Gruen has really outdone herself with the sequel.

Being a NH Native, it was great to see some quirks from our State included in the novel. It seemed to have more specific descriptions about the area and some of our history, like our old houses and barns and our symbol....The Old Man of the Mountain.
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More About the Author

I am a transplanted Canadian (now also an American citizen) who moved to the States in 1999 for a technical writing job. Two years later I got laid off. Instead of looking for another job, I decided to take a gamble on writing fiction.

I live with my husband, three children, two dogs, four cats, two horses, and a goat in North Carolina.

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