The Horse Dancer, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The 2009 novel The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes, the bestselling author of Me Before You and two-time winner of the RNA Novel of the Year award.

In a hidden corner of London, Henri Lachapelle is teaching his granddaughter and her horse to defy gravity, just as he had done in France, fifty years previously.

But when disaster strikes, fourteen-year-old Sarah is left to fend for herself.

Forced to share a house with her charismatic ex-husband, her professional judgement called into question, lawyer Natasha Macauley's life seems to have gone awry.

When her path crosses that of Sarah, she sees a chance to put things right.

But she doesn't know that Sarah is keeping a secret, one that will change all their lives forever ...




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This was a bit slow to get started; there are two stories at first, running alongside each other. One is of an almost-divorced couple who have to sort out their house and hope to do so amicably. Mac is a cheerful photographer, Natasha is quite an uptight lawyer. The other storyline features 14-year-old Sarah and her elderly grandfather who used to be a professional rider in France. Sarah adores her horse and works hard to learn the moves in 'Airs above the ground' - then disaster strikes. <br/><br/>Sarah's path crosses Natasha's and the stories then start to intertwine. As well as the overt theme of following one's dreams, this book covers fostering and adoption, theft and other petty crimes, teenage secrecy, the pain of ending a marriage, and the importance of parents and guardians listening to their children. I admit I skipped over some of the horsey sections, but that wasn't a problem. <br/><br/>The writing is excellent, the characterisation believable. There were one or two moments when I almost chuckled aloud, a couple of scenes where I was holding my breath in suspense, and towards the end I had tears in my eyes more than once. I started by reading just a chapter or two before going to sleep; by the time I was two-thirds of the way through, I could hardly bear to put it down. <br/><br/>Perhaps the ending is a little contrived, ending all the threads neatly in a happy-ever-after way; but by that stage it didn't matter. It's how I hoped it would end, with an extra bonus. <br/><br/>A wonderful book - well worth persevering through the early chapters. Four-and-a-half stars really.

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