Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Sarah's grandfather was a horseman of rare talent - only the exceptional are allowed into France's elite riding academy, Le Cadre Noir. But life took an unexpected turn, and now from a council estate in east London, the Captain hopes to train his granddaughter towards a better life.

Natasha is a lawyer whose job is to represent the best interests of children. Her confidence in her judgement has been shaken and her marriage has died - but an encounter with Sarah may lead to Natasha learning all she needs to know about life from a fourteen-year-old girl and a large horse named Boo.

©2009 Jojo Moyes (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Horse Dancer

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    761
  • 4 Stars
    247
  • 3 Stars
    67
  • 2 Stars
    28
  • 1 Stars
    14
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    672
  • 4 Stars
    224
  • 3 Stars
    50
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    14
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    672
  • 4 Stars
    199
  • 3 Stars
    61
  • 2 Stars
    22
  • 1 Stars
    11

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Best yet!

This was one of the best books I have downloaded for a while. JoJo Moyes never disappoints. Every book is different, and this is definitely one of her best. Highly recommended even if you aren't into horses.If you have read JoJos' books before then you will not be dissapointed. If you are new to her books then this is a great place to discover her.

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Relationships - families and horses

Jojo Moyes once again draws realistic characters who have passions and foibles. This one explores human relationships and those between a girl and her horse. In this book you are drawn to Sarah and how she trains her horse in classical equitation. Whilst you are focusing and empathising with Sarah and her horse you are emotionally caught up with her home-life. Very enjoyable. My walks got longer as I wanted to know what would happen next and then of course came the downer when it had finished.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Story soon becomes preposterous

It didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as the author’s You Before Me and The Girl you Left Behind, which have far more nuanced characters and realistic stories. The Horse Dancer starts promisingly but soon descends into an unbelievable journey to France by Sarah, a horse-mad 14 year old. It doesn’t help that most of the main characters are unpleasant and/or caricatures: Sarah is obsessive, rude and ungrateful notably when lawyer, Natasha, implausibly takes Sarah into her home after meeting her shop-lifting and then sacrifices much to help her. For most of the book Natasha is in an over-wrought state and bickering with her estranged husband, Mack. There’s just too much friction, over-blown emotion, improbable jeopardy and characters acting stupidly. The only wholly admirable character is the horse!

After hours of incessant conflict and arguments the final epilogue has the main characters implausibly transformed into a saccharine-sweet happy family.

The narrator does give the various characters distinct voices but she over-emphasizes the stridency of Natasha’s grievances and Sarah’s surly truculence, which makes both even less likeable.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Horses ....

This was my second jojo moyse book and definately won't be my last.
I have little interest in horses but after a slow start this book gripped me , the characters were well formed and the story touching and satisfying.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love it...

Absolutely love this book. Quite unrealistic in parts yet a very enjoyable read and definitely one to recommend.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Okay

Well-written and well-read and I enjoyed the first half. As the melodrama picked up though the plot became increasingly implausible, and the characters became increasingly silly in order to make the plot happen. Could have forgiven the plot but the characters got on my nerves until I heartily disliked all of them. Matter of taste I suppose but I barely made it to the end.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

Thought the story was lovely and thought provoking , I love horses so was a pleasure to listen to I would recommend it

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely book

I didn't know what to expect from this, but my pony-mad childhood came back to haunt me as I was choosing what to download next - and as so often happened in those days I made the decision because there was a nice horse on the cover. I loved it. I may not have made best friends with all the characters, but I empathised with them. One scene actually had me in tears as I was running down quite a busy road, and that's a first.

- and in fiction, I reckon a little bit of implausibility never hurt anyone...

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing, heart warming story

Loved the story, so much so that I looked up the history of the riding school and watched clips of the riders on you tube, amazing! Brilliant writing as always, love jojo moyes books. I listen on the way to and from work and she just whisks you away to other places, fantastic way to spend a journey :) can't wait to read more of her books.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant!

Great story! Captures the real love and sacrifice between a girl and her horse.

5 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mark
  • Mark
  • 27-03-10

The best! I'd give it 10 stars if I could...

(By Carol, not Mark.) I listen to LOTS of audio books, and this is simply THE best I've ever heard, the first I've ever felt compelled to comment on. The narrator is superb, and the storyline mesmerizing; I acutally took it to bed with me a couple of evenings because I was simply unable to turn it off!

The characters are fully developed and fresh,and the horse angle authentic. The author's commentary at the end about the origins of the story is the frosting on the cake. Listen to this book!

(Now I'm going to go purchase a hard copy so I can read it for myself!)

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marilyn
  • Marilyn
  • 07-01-10

You Get More That One Credit's Worth!

I long for REAL horse stories and was surprised to find this one so superbly bound together with the myriad of human experiences from the tween years to middle age to dying and death. I cannot fathom a world without my horses.

I admire the complexity of characters, plotting, and settings in which this author deftly weaves together. Though at times, it seems that too much incidental description is included, then comes the comes the moment this book needs it all so that it may be stitched back together for a satisfying conclusion.

The only down side for me was the pacing of the reader, and that is simply a cultural difference. After the first hour, I was finding it a simply elegant rendering of a very satisfying book. Well worth the credit!



11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for J Kasper
  • J Kasper
  • 16-12-09

Wonderful wonderful story

Great characters, good drama interesting story all make this book a winner. Absolutely a great read especially for the horse addicted.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for LA
  • LA
  • 06-04-10

almost too much!

This was a great listen, even though I frequently found myself groaning "oh no" when one more thing went wrong. The situations and characters were so well drawn, and the beauty shone through constantly in spite of the difficult situations. The narration is excellent, and the whole book very satisfying. Worth listening through the rough moments!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kaelin
  • Kaelin
  • 01-12-09

Wow! Amazing story start to finish

I hung on every word of this novel. I loved the narration, her animated voice was perfect for each character. The story line was well woven. Jojo did a fabulous job with the horse terminology. Being an avid dressage rider, I will suffer through a lot if it is horse related, but I never found the horse parts cliche. I even got my husband hooked on the second half after he started listening. This is a true coming of age novel for all ages!

21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lia
  • Lia
  • 17-03-20

Amazing Story - Don't Miss It

Jojo Moyes is an incredible author she draws you into the story, together with a great narrator you just cannot stop listening. You know it's a good book when you go back and reread the ending a few more times, just to wring every little nuance out of it (again.) To be honest, there were places in the middle where the story went a bit slower than I would have liked, but my gosh, what a story! I absolutely loved the characters, I loved how the unlikeliest of pairings were forced to work together, I loved the descriptions of the horse and the equestrian culture. This novel has themes of the influence of grandparents, the disaster of broken families, coming-of-age youth, midlife crisis, and whether a marriage can be saved. Oh, and why do we stay in unsatisfying careers. Is that enough for you? But wait, there's more: JoJo Moyes must have a movie director where her brain is; she writes some scenes in this story that are so cinematic, I'm just bummed that I can't see them depicted in a movie. But maybe some day! I loved this story. Great job.

Julia Franklin was outstanding with the delivery of the story

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Suzn F
  • Suzn F
  • 18-05-13

Have the Hankies Nearby

I dare the reader/listener to keep a dry eye. This book about a young girl and her horse and her foster "family" made me feel and held my interest every in chapter. Jojo Moyes is becoming a favorite for me. This is the second book from this author I've truly enjoyed. And this one had a horse as a main character who develops a unique bond with his young rider. This is a story with adventure, family bonds, romance, betrayal, danger and redemption. I so enjoy a book that invites you in and brings you along for the ride.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Annie M.
  • Annie M.
  • 19-02-13

Think Jodi Picoult--with horses.

What did you love best about The Horse Dancer?

I really loved the fact that, at last, someone has written a book for horse fans that is lyrical, honest, intriguing, and not gushy. Moyes obviously knows her horses. All the interactions between 13-year-old Sarah and her magnificent Selle Francais gelding stuck a very authentic note. I also loved how the storyline about Mac and Natasha realistically interwove with Sarah's story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Well, obviously, it has to be the horse.

Which scene was your favorite?

There isn't one particular scene that stands out for me, but I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of Sarah astride Boo, working on the haute ecole dressage moves that she knows are her--and her horse's--ticket to a better life.

If you could take any character from The Horse Dancer out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would take the horse, Boo, out to dinner. I'd invite him to my barn, introduce him to my own horses, feed him a delicious bucket of warm mash and then ask him if he'd let me ride him in the morning.

Any additional comments?

As I read this book, I found myself reminded of the writing of Jaclyn Mitchard and Jodi Picoult. The story had lots of twists, lots of harrowing moments that left you wondering, "Oh no, what's going to happen now?" The narration was extremely well done. All in all, it is a solid effort, an entertaining read. And, if you love horses, totally worth a token.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for lyl
  • lyl
  • 27-09-12

From a true Anglophile

Love the English authors! Thanks Audible for having so many available on your site. This book has an excellent plot and the information on Dressage is fascinating. I highly recommend this book.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Luke
  • Luke
  • 02-05-10

awesome book

This was book was great. The narration was good, the story was exciting, and if your a horse lover you will be happy with the accuracy of her descriptions of dressage. I especailly enjoyed the quotes from Xenophon's "On Horsemanship" at the beginning of the chapter. Although it has a happy ending, be prepared to shed some tears!

4 people found this helpful