The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

Anton Disclafani, Author
Anton DiSclafani. Riverhead, $27.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-59448-640-1
Hardcover - 573 pages - 978-1-4104-6025-7
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-1-59463-270-9
Paperback - 571 pages - 978-1-59413-729-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4703-7048-0
Paperback - 978-1-59463-319-5
Hardcover - 978-1-4713-5793-0
Prebound-Glued - 432 pages - 978-0-606-35656-5
Paperback - 978-0-7553-9518-7
Hardcover - 392 pages - 978-0-7553-9517-0
Hardcover - 392 pages - 978-0-7553-9519-4
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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.” DiSclafani, 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, DiSclafani 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)
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