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The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
by Anton Disclafani

Overview - "This summer's first romantic page turner."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
Named a most anticipated book for Summer 2013 by "The Wall Street Journal "and "Publishers Weekly "and "USA Today," NPR, and "People "summer reads pick
A lush, sexy, evocative debut novel of family secrets and girls'-school rituals, set in the 1930s South
It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression.
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More About The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton Disclafani
 
 
 
Overview
"This summer's first romantic page turner."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
Named a most anticipated book for Summer 2013 by "The Wall Street Journal "and "Publishers Weekly "and "USA Today," NPR, and "People "summer reads pick
A lush, sexy, evocative debut novel of family secrets and girls'-school rituals, set in the 1930s South
It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, has been cast out of her Florida home, exiled to an equestrienne boarding school for Southern debutantes. High in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with its complex social strata ordered by money, beauty, and girls' friendships, the Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family's citrus farm--a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order, one that will change her sense of what is possible for herself, her family, her country.
Weaving provocatively between home and school, the narrative powerfully unfurls the true story behind Thea's expulsion from her family, but it isn't long before the mystery of her past is rivaled by the question of how it will shape her future. Part scandalous love story, part heartbreaking family drama, "The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls "is an immersive, transporting page-turner--a vivid, propulsive novel about sex, love, family, money, class, home, and horses, all set against the ominous threat of the Depression--and the major debut of an important new writer.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781594486401
  • ISBN-10: 1594486409
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: June 2013
  • Page Count: 400
  • Reading Level: Ages 18-UP


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Historical - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-04-01
  • Reviewer: Staff

The setup for this debut novel is delectable: it’s 1930, the country is tumbling into depression, and 15-year-old Thea has done something bad enough to get her sent from Florida to an elite year-round “camp” in North Carolina where, at least at first, the effects of the economy are kept at bay while affluent Southern girls become “ladies.” DiScalfani, who grew up around horses, is at her best when recreating the intuition and strength of girls in the saddle. Otherwise Thea’s narration feels flattened by history and the characters she encounters never achieve dimensionality. The build toward the revelation of Thea’s crime is drawn out, sapping the reveal of drama, but the account of Thea’s emerging sexuality provides meaningful reflections on the potency of teenage desire. Here too, however, DiScalfani seems distanced from her characters, relying on declarations such as “I was not weak,” “I was angry,” and “I was glum” when exploring the tension of conflicting feelings. Though there are many twists and turns, the prose numbs the pleasure of reading about even the most forbidden of Thea’s trysts. Agent: Dorian Karchmar, WME Entertainment. (June)

 
BookPage Reviews

Secrets revealed in the Blue Ridge Mountains

By all appearances, Thea Atwell lives a charmed life. A child of Emathla, Florida, “a stone’s throw” from Gainesville, she rides horses and explores the lush land with her cousin and twin brother, insulated from the Great Depression by her family’s citrus fortune.

But in July of 1930, at age 15, Thea is sent to a year-round camp for girls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, an idyllic enclave where Southern young women go to become ladies. Because as the headmistress says, “Becoming a lady is not simply a thing which happens, like magic . . . becoming a lady is a lesson you must learn.” Turns out Thea has done something very bad, and the camp—far away from Florida—is her punishment.

Sensual, lush and surprising, this debut set in the North Carolina mountains is a story to savor.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, Anton DiSclafani’s sensual debut novel, shifts back and forth from Emathla to North Carolina, building toward the “series of events” that leads to Thea’s banishment. The story hinges on this mysterious transgression, something so terrible that the Atwells do not send for Thea at Christmas or visit when she falls ill at camp. In spite of this, the headstrong young woman is able to settle into life at Yonahlossee, where she quickly makes a best friend and establishes herself as a top equestrienne. However, home is never far from her mind, even when Thea has grown to like her world of “horses and girls, girls and horses.” Readers who have experienced the joy of riding—the adrenaline of fearless jumping, the pleasure of grooming, the comfort of getting to know a horse—will appreciate the scenes of Thea with her animal.

DiSclafani unspools the drama slowly and seductively, tempting the reader with ominous letters from Florida and other hints from Thea’s past. This pace allows the author to dreamily revel in lovely settings—the picturesque camp in the mountains or the wilds of the Atwells’ land in Emathla—but at times the plot feels languid. Still, patient readers will be rewarded with a passionate climax. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a story to savor in the heat of summer.

 
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