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 15, 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 pause resister - 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.
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The writing is lush and gorgeous and yet the author excels at keeping the story moving. Best kind of literary fiction.
Thea, the protagonist, who is a bold and brave girl with flaws and foibles. Smart and caring while being an adolescent who doesn't understand that there are serious consequences to her seemingly private actions.
Thea ...see above
Just read this book. It will pull you in quickly and keep you swimming in this world for days to come. I look forward to the author's next book. Bravo first novel!!
- Jess "Former English major who loves to read."