The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls Summary and Reviews

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

by Anton DiSclafani

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani X
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2013
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [Readers] will be held in thrall by the world so vividly and sensually rendered here in a novel that is as sophisticated in its writing as it is in its themes." - Booklist

"Starred Review. An unusually accomplished and nuanced coming-of-age drama." - Kirkus

"Though there are many twists and turns, the prose numbs the pleasure of reading about even the most forbidden of Thea's trysts." - Publishers Weekly

"I fell completely under the spell of Anton DiSclafani's amazing first novel and was gripped by its lush and dreamy evocations of Southern decorum, family secrets, and boarding school rituals. DiSclafani is wildly talented, and this is a sexy, suspenseful, gorgeously written book." - Curtis Sittenfeld, author of Prep

"The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is so sexy, smart, and vividly drawn that I was surprised to remember that this novel is Anton DiSclafani's first. With such a big-hearted and atmospheric book, Ms. DiSclafani's talents should be celebrated far and wide." - Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton

"Thea Atwell is an unforgettable heroine, and DiSclafani's pitch-perfect details of time and place effortlessly drew me into this fantastic novel's authentic and alluring world."- Laura Moriarty, author of The Chaperone

"In her haunting debut, Anton DiSclafani reminded me how I came to love reading as a child, the way a book can so envelop you in its unique and vibrant world that even as you race toward the end, you find yourself dreading the moment it's finished. It's a fierce and tender, beautiful novel." - Aryn Kyle, author of The God of Animals

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Reader Reviews

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Becky H

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
This big, rich novel covers only a year but manages to convey an entire lifetime. Thea, the main character, is a twin, a lover of horses and a girl who wants. Unfortunately what she wants is not necessarily good for her or her family or those she loves. Sent away from her home because of her actions, she spends a year at a “camp” that is actually a cross between a finishing school for wealthy girls and a riding academy. The background of Thea’s infraction is explored in many backflashes as the book progresses. DiSclafani gives us a whole world set in depression era southern Appalachia. Her characters are well drawn and appealing. Her descriptions provide a moody backdrop to a story filled with angst, teen girls and horses. While the characters are teens, this is not a young adult book, but a sizzling sex tale set in a Victorian horse show.
Book groups will find a plethora of topics ranging from teen sex to family roles to education of women to the importance of money among many others.

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Author Information

Anton DiSclafani

Anton DiSclafani grew up in northern Florida, where she rode horses, competing nationally. She graduated from Emory University, and received her MFA from Washington University. She currently lives in Saint Louis, where she teaches creative writing at Washington University.

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