Bookshelf –A View from the Saddle: Author’s Rancho Dream Comes TrueThe past two decades have seen 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 2019, Linda Gray published her memoir, “Costa Rica: My View From the Saddle.” Visiting Costa Rica for the first time in 2004, the author actually purchased a 200-acre finca during that trip before returning home to Gloucester, Massachusetts. She then proceeded to close out her former life in the U.S. and move into her new one in Costa Rica’s southern zone near Dominical.

Linda immediately began transforming her property in the Diamante Valley, at the edge of San José, into a horse ranch. Eventually, it would become a horseback tour business appropriately named Rancho Tranquilo.

Gray’s story will sound familiar to many: a mixture of setbacks and then reminders of why anyone ever takes the plunge into pura vida. Insights into the writer’s relationship with her horse, Ares, are particularly touching, and her entry into the world of “horse people” is inspiring and amusing to read about.

Her entry into the world of “horse people”
is inspiring and amusing to read about.

Descriptions of the hurdles Linda faced will resonate with almost anyone who has lived here — situations we can relate to and laugh about. For readers considering a move to Costa Rica, the information she provides is invaluable, from both bureaucratic and cultural perspectives.

The unique voice that comes through in Linda’s writing is a special attribute. Reading the book is like listening to her talk directly to you. Merit-worthy in their own right are Gray’s accomplishments moving to a foreign country alone and then succeeding in business and adapting to a different culture. As her story unfolds, it becomes obvious that she has gleaned one of the keys to success in Costa Rica: that is, to eschew your former mindset and embrace this new way of life wholeheartedly.

Look for 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 Page Turner Books in Huacas.


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