Overview: “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.” (Amazon)
My Review: I bought this book to read while I was in Montauk and I ended up finishing it by the end of the first day. I thought that the author did a great job of transitioning between Thea’s life at school and slowly unveiling the tragedy that sent her there. The book discusses money, sex, love, scandal, tradition, guilt, growing up, friendship, and family. The guilt and family plot reminded me a bit of Spring Awakening and the friendship, school, and boarding school tradition plot reminded me of Prep.
It even reminded me of my time at riding camp and on the equestrian team at Kent!