I rarely cry when I read books, but this one got me going, I guess because it was so sad and also so sweet. The characters are real and lovable, I was rooting for them all the way. I'd definitely read Riding Lessons first. This sequel could stand on its own, but would be more meaningful after reading the previous book. Great writing from the author of Water for Elephants.
I liked this book even better than the first one. This one starts up right where the first one left off, with Annemarie and Eva living at Mutti's house. Annemarie is giving lessons now and Eva is being her usual wild self. After a run-in with some trouble, Eva has a chance to go train with an Olympic trainer an hour away from the farm. At the first horse show they attend, Eva makes a bunch of mistakes and trouble starts to brew. Roger and his new wife are supposed to be at the horse show to watch Eva, but they aren't. I can't say much more about that because it would give the story away. Annemarie thinks Dan is going to propose on her 40th birthday, but when she opens her gift, she gets something that is unexpected. In the end, the whole family comes together to fight for someone that they truly love. I thought that this was a very wonderful book. If you liked the first, you will love the second one.
Excellent book, even better than Riding Lessons, the first book that I loved. I think she develops her chartacters better and you empasize and understands the decisions they may more. I'll admitt I'm a horse person, so I liked hearing some of the details, but even if you are not very familiar with this world, she makes it understandable for the masses. I also enjoy the generational theme of relationships with her own mother and her daughter. Living together is never easy. I hope she writes a third!