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Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen is a Canadian, who moved to the United States in 1999 when she got a technical writing job. When she was made redundant, she decided to write fiction. Her first two novels, Riding Lessons and Flying Changes were both about horses, and are both still in print. Her next novel, Water for Elephants, was about Jacob, a young man who had very nearly qualified as a vet when his parents were killed, leaving him without the funds to complete his training. He found a job with a circus, and as the only character with any sort of moral compass, has a very hard time. Sara Gruen’s next book, Ape House, was about bonobos.


She lives with her family and animals in an environmental community north of Chicago.


Finding the books: both the books are still in print, and easy to find in both the UK and USA.


Links and sources

Sara Gruen’s website

An interview with Sara Gruen

Wikipedia on Sara Gruen


Riding Lessons

HarperTorch, New York, 2004, 387 pp.

Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2007.


Annemarie Zimmer’s Olympic dreams when her horse injures her in an accident:
he is destroyed. She give up riding and horses entirely. Twenty years later, she
returns to her family’s horse farm, divorced, and with a troubled teenage
daughter, Eve. Annemarie’s mother is fighting hard to keep the farm going, and
her father is stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease. There is a horse there, who
looks worthless, but he reminds Annemarie of her old horse Harry. She has to
struggle to heal herself and the horse, and come to term’s with her father’s affliction.

Bibliography - horse books only

Flying Changes

HarperTorch, New York, 2005, 371 pp.

Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2007.


Annemarie is anxious about everything: that her relationship is stagnating; that
her daughter Eva’s equestrian dreams will carry her away. Maple Brook horse
farm is changing, and Annemarie has to confront her fears, but it is a tragedy no
one anticipates which allows the family to finally ride free.