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A View from the Saddle

Book coverBy Jim Parisi

Over the past twenty years, there has been a cascade of memoirs written by people who have moved to Costa Rica to “live the dream”. The quality of these accounts runs the gamut from very informative and readable to dismally amateurish, and everything in-between.

In April of 2019, Linda Gray published her memoir, “Costa Rica: My View From the Saddle”. She had come to Costa Rica for the first time in 2004 on a visit from Gloucester, MA. Linda actually purchased a two hundred acre finca on that visit, returning to The States to begin closing out her former life, and moving into this new one, which included a horse ranch and horseback tours.

Linda’s new home was in the Diamante Valley, near Dominical, in the Southern Zone, at the edge of the province of San Jose. She immediately began transforming her property into a ranch for horses and, eventually, a horseback tour business, appropriately named Rancho Tranquilo. Linda’s story is a familiar one; a mixture of setbacks and then reminders of why one “takes the plunge”. Her relationship with her horse, Ares, is particularly touching and her accounts of entering the world of “horse people” is inspiring and quite amusing.

For anyone who has lived here, Linda’s descriptions of the hurdles she faced are familiar, something we can all laugh about and relate to. For people considering moving to Costa Rica, her information is invaluable, from both bureaucratic and cultural aspects.

Linda GrayA big reason that Linda’s memoir works so well is her ability to make her unique “voice” come through in her writing. Reading her book is like listening to her talk directly to you. Linda also should be recognized for her incredible accomplishment of coming to a foreign country alone and then succeeding at the level she has, both on a business and a cultural level. As her story unfolds, it becomes obvious that she has gleaned one of the keys to success in Costa Rica, and that is to eschew your former mindset and embrace this new way of life wholeheartedly.

There are moments of both heartbreak and of resiliency in Linda’s memoir. It is her story and she has told it, tried and true. My View from the Saddle is available in Costa Rica exclusively at Bookstore of the Waves in Playa Tamarindo and at Page Turner Books in Huacas.

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