by Anton Disclafani
Riverhead Books (Penguin)
Back in the woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a beautifully serene riding camp and school for girls of means. The girls come to Yonahlossee for a variety of reasons--their wealthy families are too busy to raise a teenage girl, their family is caught up in the Depression and trying to hold onto what little they still have, their family is at a crossroads, or their family is burying their guilt and a shameful secret. Thea Atwell is sent to Yonahlossee for the latter--she is beginning to realize her rash actions and powerful passions have torn her family apart.
Thea has grown up with her rtwin brother and their parents on their rural farm, far from other kids and pressures. Thea has lived a sheltered life among the Florida orange groves and riding the fields on her pony. When Thea steps outside these boundaries, her mother insists that she be sent far away. Thea is mortified and afraid, alone for the first time at age fifteen. How will she cope among girls her age when she's never been around others? How will she be able to survive without the constant companionship and love of her own twin?
Thea loves the riding lessons with stern taskmaster Mr. Albrecht and even finds a group of girls she fits in with. When she realizes that the riding camp is a year-round facility, she understands the depth of her mother's anger.
As Thea learns more about life and love, she comes dangerously close to hurting everyone around her once again.
Highly recommended for book clubs and readers grade 9-up. Mature subject matter. Sexual misconduct.
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