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Learning to Fall: A Novel

Learning to Fall: A Novel

4.3 3
by Anne Clermont

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Brynn honors her passion for horses by studying at the toughest veterinary program in the country. Months from graduating, tragedy strikes—tragedy for which she can’t help but feel responsible. Brynn feels suffocated by the weight of her father’s legacy and his dusty hopes for horse show jumping success. When Brynn’s frenetic efforts to dig


Brynn honors her passion for horses by studying at the toughest veterinary program in the country. Months from graduating, tragedy strikes—tragedy for which she can’t help but feel responsible. Brynn feels suffocated by the weight of her father’s legacy and his dusty hopes for horse show jumping success. When Brynn’s frenetic efforts to dig the family business out of debt fail, she’s down to one desperate hope.

Enter Jason Lander, who understands what it’s like to walk away from the ring. The onetime champion agrees to train Brynn, and her horse Jett, for an all-or-nothing run at the prestigious Million Dollar Gold Cup. But going all the way means doing it his way, which has Brynn questioning her decisions, her loyalties, and her growing feelings for Jason—complicating her relationship with her lover.

Set in Northern California against a stunning backdrop of coastal hills and valleys, Learning to Fall is about discovering how to let go—and how to hang on with your heart.

Fans of Seabiscuit and The Horse Whisperer will love this beautifully written debut; one they’re bound to add to their shelf of favorites.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Learning to Fall is a beautifully-written book, and so real you can almost feel the wind rushing by Brynn and Jett as they go flying over the jumps on the course. They both give their all in a breath-taking conclusion."
Luxury Reading, FIVE STARS

“This stunning debut set in the rolling hills of Northern California promises endless feels, tears and plenty of horses . . . the best equine literary experience since Seabiscuit.”
Redbook, "20 Books By Women You Must Read This Fall”

"A stunning literary cocktail of romance, devotion to family and passion for life, Learning to Fall is as heartwarming as it is addictive. You won’t be able to put this one down."
Coastal Living

"Authentic, captivatin, and relatable."
Plaid Horse Magazine

"If you're still crying in a corner because you miss Seabiscuit (raises hand), this book is for you."
—Popsugar, "21 Fiction Reads to Add to Your Fall Reading List"

"Clermont's passionate storytelling captures the essence of life as an equestrian. An excellent portrayal of dedication, hard work, and ups and downs that is relatable to all walks of life—be it equestrian or pedestrian.”
—John Pearce, Canadian Show Jumping Team Olympian

"Behind the beauty and elaborate pageantry of show jumping, there is a lot of grinding machinery. Anne Clermont's Learning to Fall offers an all-access pass to the hard work and financial realities that fuel it. I found myself nodding at the character types I recognized as I turned pages. I couldn’t put this one down.”
—Chris Pratt, Canadian Equestrian Team member, two-time Del Mar Grand Prix winner, and HITS Thermal Finale Grand Prix winner

“Whether or not you grew up reading Black Beauty or The Black Stallion, this insider’s view of the competitive world of show jumping captivates, wearing its tender heart on its sleeve. Brynn Seymour will have you cheering for her from the start, as she questions what many of us do: is the path we’re following the one we choose? Or the one someone else chooses for us?”
—Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds

“In her debut novel, Anne Clermont takes us behind the high-stakes world of Grand Prix show jumping—with spectacular results. Not just the horses, which she paints with a beauty and a tenderness all their own, but the riders and trainers and owners, the haves and the wannabes, all come to vivid life. This is a sport in which the jumps get higher and higher with every round, and Anne Clermont takes every one of them with flamboyant and heart-rending ease. A terrific showing.”
—Robert Goolrick, #1 New York Times best-selling author of A Reliable Wife, Heading out to Wonderful and The Fall of Princes

“In her debut novel Learning to Fall, Anne Clermont tells a compelling, page-turning story about one young woman’s search for success and love in the world of horse show jumping. Clermont writes with great compassion and insight. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.”
—Ellen Sussman, New York Times best-selling author of French Lessons and A Wedding in Provence

"Full of heart, Learning to Fall tells the well-paced story of a tenacious young woman's quest to overcome tragedy and reawaken her dreams. Clermont shows us that mastering life's challenging courses requires a leap of faith—sometimes one taken on the back of a beloved horse."
—Sonja Yoerg, author of Middle of Somewhere and House Broken

"The spoiled princesses. The egotistical males. The backstabbing barn buddies and those that serve them. If you've been on the show-jumping circuit, you know these types well. Anne Clermont knows them better than most, and in Learning to Fall she pits them all against a young woman who may be short on privilege, but is long on luck and perseverance. As a rider, I wanted to cheer on Brynn Seymour through her struggle with the turn of each page in this emotional, high leap of a debut novel.”
—Hope Glynn, rider, trainer, and owner of Sonoma Valley Stables, Equus Hall of Fame inductee

Product Details

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Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Anne Clermont is a Canadian living in the U.S., born in Kraków and raised outside of Toronto. She spent fifteen years in California before relocating to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She holds a BS in animal biology, and an MBA.Her background ranges from studying animal behavior to carrying out pancreatic cancer research at one of the world’s largest and most innovative biotech companies. Inspired to write Learning to Fall in part by her own experience of running a show jumping business, she now devotes her time to writing and working as a developmental editor. She lives on an island in the middle of Puget Sound with her husband and two children.

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Learning to Fall: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
What will be familiar in many ways to anyone with experience of the competitive world of horse showing, Clermont opens the doors and provides an honest (if not always pretty) window into the world: cutthroat and full of joys and struggles large and small. Wanting to live a more stable life, not depending on the vagaries of wins and losses, Brynn has dedicated her time to her studies in veterinary school. But, an accident and years of financial juggling left her family in deep debt, with few options for resolution, and Brynn is the key to the options. With a bit of help from another successful horseman, Brynn has both the key and the opportunity to help with the family’s troubles, but she has to make the choice. Years of the highs and lows of her father’s career have her wondering if she is just the person to survive it all, especially with the added pressures and need to succeed. Clermont is obviously writing with full knowledge of the unique people that are in the show world: from the good to the not so. The simple displays of wealth and the focus on the presentation and performance, the single-minded focus needed to complete a course successfully, and the hours of behind the scenes time and work that makes the 90 seconds in the ring look effortless. When added to the inner struggles that Brynn experiences this story is gripping and compelling, with plenty of moments to enjoy. While this won’t discourage or encourage anyone from setting their cap on the Grand Prix ring, it does present a sense of the struggles, expense and single-minded determination needed to start on the journey. As someone who showed horses for years, and experienced much of the camaraderie and cutthroat actions from competitors, as well as that specific bond that develops between horse and rider, I can’t help but find this book engaging. With a nice mix of finding herself while developing a new adult identity, Clermont has created a story that is sure to find many fans. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
LisaDunckley 4 days ago
Learning To Fall was a pleasant surprise—so frequently equine fiction (especially from first time authors) is sub par, and this was a good read. Main character Brynne Seymour is in her last year of vet school and recovering emotionally from the loss of her father in an accident when she finds out that he left tons of debt and their horse training facility about to be foreclosed on. Of course she decides to save the property by taking over the training business and getting the property out of debt. When this doesn't turn out to work as well as she'd hoped, she decides her only choice is to compete in, and WIN, the Spruce Meadows Million Dollar Gold Cup. First the good: The horse parts are very well done. The author is a horse professional so this is not a surprise. The description of the horse trailer accident was particularly horrific—bringing to mind the accident scene from The Horse Whisperer. As a horse owner, it was a very scary intense scene and I literally had to put the book down and read another book at that point before I continued, in order to relieve the anxiety. The horse show scenes are true to life—the barns, the grooms, the gossip and catfights, ponies bucking kids off, competitive moms, trainers wooing other trainers' clients, etc. The entire book was very readable and held my attention throughout and the story was entertaining. Now the bad: The plot was very similar to Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen—daughter returns to parents' barn after loss of father, tries to take over training business to help because finances are shaky, has wealthy boarder/training client with multiple horses leave with no notice. The hints and foreshadowing in the book made upcoming events obvious to me, but apparently not to main character Brynne, who is shocked when her clients leave, shocked when the Enemy Trainer steals clients, shocked when her cheating lying boyfriend cheats and lies to her. Brynn, pay attention, sheesh! Most of the characters were rather one dimensional, and the ones who were more developed still seemed to act in ways that didn't always make sense (Corinne setting things up for Brynn to ride Seraphim comes to mind). Overall though, I really enjoyed the book. I was able to get lost in the story, it was exciting and suspenseful, and the equine parts were exceptionally well done!
lovetoreadbw 10 months ago
Great Read!