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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Giver of Stars, a novel about a lost girl and her horse, the enduring strength of friendship, and how even the smallest choices can change everything.   

When Sarah's grandfather gives her a beautiful horse named Boo - hoping that one day she'll follow in his footsteps to join an elite French riding school, away from their gritty London neighborhood - she quietly trains in the city's parks and alleys. But then her grandfather falls ill, and Sarah must juggle horsemanship with school and hospital visits. 

Natasha, a young lawyer, is reeling after her failed marriage: Her professional judgment is being questioned, her new boyfriend is a letdown, and she's forced to share her house with her charismatic ex-husband. Yet when the willful 14-year-old Sarah lands in her path, Natasha decides to take the girl under her wing. 

But Sarah is keeping a secret - a secret that will change the lives of everyone involved forever. 

Public Domain (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“There's something in it everyone will love... The Horse Dancer is a heartfelt, gut-wrenching, emotional novel filled with moments of joy, excitement, and plenty of tears. In her signature style, Moyes has woven a complicated story about unforgettable characters you'll contemplate long after you finish reading...a multi-generational story that will tug at heart strings and leave everyone reaching for the tissues, and for a hug. Trust me, this is the kind of book you'll want to share with the ones you love." (Bustle)

“Fans of Moyes (Paris for One and Other Stories, 2016, etc.) know what to expect from her books - big emotions, quirky characters, and a few tears - and this one delivers on all counts.” (Kirkus Reviews)

"With a touch of adventure, Moyes offers a lovely comment on the importance of discipline, love, and persistence in our relationships." (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Horse Dancer

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Maximum Misery for Minimum Payoff

I very much wanted to love this book. I had just listened to The Giver of Stars and thought it was excellent. The first ten hours of this book is like slogging through gloppy mud. I’m a horsewoman and persevered primarily hoping the horse in this book would get the life he deserved. It finally moves to a “happy ending” but there is so much of the main characters’ pain that was self inflicted it made it very difficult for me to pull for them, especially the character of Natasha, the female protagonist.
I wanted to give a higher rating to the narrator, but I often wondered if my difficulty caring about Natasha was because of her interpretation of the character. I say you shouldn’t read this book as something to uplift yourself or escape a little—the first 25 chapters will make you want to curl up and pull the covers over your head! Or make you yell, “Ugh! Come on already!!!” My 2 cents, for what it is worth...

32 people found this helpful

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Tense Read

Like other reviewers, I read Giver of Stars and loved it; Jojo Moyes is an amazing storyteller. I've read almost all of her other novels as well. However, The Horse Dancer, while beautifully crafted, is not a relaxing read. The tension built and built until the very end of the (lengthy) story, with no moments of relief interspersed. I kept reading to find out how the tension would resolve, but not because I cared deeply about the characters.

13 people found this helpful

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Finally a clever horse story!!!

I’ve read almost every book about horses or with horses. Not since Black Beauty has there been a book about horses with social commentary, horse knowledge, and an understanding of people involved with horses as good as The Horse Dancer.

What begins as several threads of different lives weave into a carpet of complexity and beauty. There are many dark threads that must be dealt with before the beauty of the finished product appears. Realistic, intelligent, historical and socially intuitive this story never falters with each thread!

Most impressive is the dealing with the institution of l’ecole Cadre Noir. The historic performance art form is explained in a way even non horse people may appreciate the beauty and preservation of the art of dressage.

Thankyou Ms Moyes for the horse story I have craved for so long!

8 people found this helpful

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A Sweet But Very Unusual Story

This story held my interest all the way through to the very end. As the publisher's summary noted, this story is about a girl's love for her horse and her family. It's easy listening. The storyline has many twists and turns as it meandered from the girl and her grandfather's story to the development of the girl's life with her foster parents. The story has lots of what I call "quiet" action. The type of action that many ordinary people face on a daily basis. It endures the bad decisions of a teenager and the false pride of the foster parents. This story also shows that there are more good people willing to help those in need than there are those looking to take advantage. You'll root for all the "white hats" - the girl, her horse "Boo", her grandfather and her foster parents.
The narrator gives an excellent performance. If you want an interesting listen, this may be it. Highly Recommended.

7 people found this helpful

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Love a beautiful horse story

As a dressage rider I was transferred back in time when I was a little girl learning to ride and the trials of my own parents divorce. The author thankfully gave me the satisfaction of a special beautiful ending. I often wish I had not lost those years of the divorce. The author gave me that pleasure in my dreams. She did her research and must be a rider herself. I was able to feel the little girl throughout the book. The narrators reading and her voice was so perfect that she brought all the characters to a reality. A beautiful read.

4 people found this helpful

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Sorry when it ended!

I absolutely adored this story! Mojo Moyes has an uncanny sense of human nature and emotions and uses them so subtly to make her characters entirely real! As a horsewoman myself, I especially appreciated the equestrian side of the story and could easily relate to the Sara’s feelings and experiences. Superb storytelling!

4 people found this helpful

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Couldn't finish listening

I couldn't understand the narrator. After 4 chapters, I still hadn't figured out the characters nor a the beginning of a plot.

3 people found this helpful

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What a story

Probably the best one yet. Another woven tale with all the mystery, misery and life that Ms Moyes has given us. I’ve read all the audible books by her and once you become used to her style of weaving, prepare for a magic carpet ride!

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful Story!

This is my second Jojo Moyes book but it certainly won’t be my last! I loved this story so much. The narration was perfect and allowed my to really get lost in the story.

3 people found this helpful

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Good story

Too much repetition, Natasha’s sulky moods and bland personality. Her character didn’t develop until the last chapter. Too many Sarah tantrums and sulky moods also. Nothing broke the monotony of it. Thank goodness for Mac...Then suddenly everything happened in the last chapter.

2 people found this helpful