The God of Animals

  • by Aryn Kyle
  • Narrated by Lily Rabe
  • 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When her older sister runs away to marry a rodeo cowboy, sixth-grader Alice Winston is left to bear the brunt of her family's troubles: a depressed, bed-ridden mother; a reticent, overworked father; and a rundown horse ranch. As the hottest summer in 15 years unfolds and bills pile up, Alice is torn between dreams of escaping the loneliness of her duty-filled life and a longing to help her father mend their family and the ranch. To make ends meet, the Winstons board the pampered horses of rich neighbors, and for the first time Alice confronts the power and security that class and wealth provide. As her family and their well-being become intertwined with the lives of their clients, Alice is drawn into an adult world of secrets and hard truths, and she soon discovers that people (including herself) can be cruel, can lie and cheat, and, every once in a while, can do something heartbreaking and selfless. Ultimately, Alice and her family must weather a devastating betrayal and a shocking, violent series of events that will test their love and prove the power of forgiveness.
A wise and astonishing novel about the different guises of love and the often steep tolls found on the road to adulthood, The God of Animals is a haunting, unforgettable debut.


What the Critics Say

"[A] confident debut novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"A very impressive debut. Kyle's prose is graceful and mature, and her themes are subtly stitched into the story....A powerful tale, from a writer with real promise." (Booklist)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


This is a beautiful novel. I was struck by how perfectly the writer conveyed a moment or a feeling with a few stark words, and there is an honest and organic feeling to the story so that the reader can't predict where it will go. Between listening, I could not wait to get back to it, and when it was finished I spent a good, long time thinking about it.
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- Cameo


I wish I hadn't listened to this book. Although the story was fairly well written, it gets progressively more depressing and it seems that the main character only becomes more detached as she grows. There is one part in particular when I turned off the machine and fast forwarded and still heard enough to be left with horrible disturbing images. It's been several weeks and it still bothers me. So if you have trouble listening to a long detailed description of animal abuse, pass this one by.
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- Jennifer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-05-2007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio