It's a story about responsibility and the consequences of being too responsible.
Annemarie Zimmer's drama of life starts twenty years prior to the book, when she is such a good horse rider, she and her beloved horse, Harry, one of the rarest kinds of horses out there, are going to the Olympics. An accident not only involves a giant concussion, but she decides to quit riding after she loses her beloved horse. Twenty years later, life has been pretty typical, until one by one, her life falls apart. Her fifteen-year old daughter Eva is going into Goth territory behind her back, her husband has met someone else and they are now in the middle of a divorce, and Annemarie's father has a severe cancer, so she and Eva go back to her old house to try to comfort everybody; do more help around while Annemarie looks for a new job. There, she meets a new man, Eva falls in love herself after getting herself kicked out of school, but the highest part is there is another horse there, that's exactly like Harry, except for a bad eye and a bit of a temper. The thing is, this horse is supposed to be dead. She decides to try to find proof that what she believes is true: This is Hurrah, Harry's long lost brother.
My view of all this, is Riding Lessons is really slow, every day happening before our eyes through Annemarie's perspective, but it's exciting because we know she has a lot of responsibilities and decisions to make before the book is over, giving off the state of two opinions just right. Annemarie decides to become the manager of the stable so other kids can learn how to ride horses, and when mistakes happen, instead of her just being in trouble because she's in charge, she is actually responsible. Annemarie also has to try an illegal act to rescue a friend that may either involve becoming a fugitive or convicted prisoner, and in reality, generally, it doesn't go as smooth as most teen's books. Like The Handmaid's Tale, this book has happenings of regret, only much more powerful, giving mothers a lesson to not overreact.
This is the first novel I've read that's in Times New Roman, tiny pages, and generally for forty-year old women, but they will certainly love this dramatic and calm story. Surprisingly, I do too.