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The God of Animals | [Aryn Kyle]

The God of Animals

When her older sister runs away to marry a rodeo cowboy, sixth-grader Alice Winston is left to bear the brunt of her family's troubles: a depressed, bed-ridden mother; a reticent, overworked father; and a rundown horse ranch. As the hottest summer in 15 years unfolds and bills pile up, Alice is torn between dreams of escaping the loneliness of her duty-filled life and a longing to help her father mend their family and the ranch.
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Publisher's Summary

When her older sister runs away to marry a rodeo cowboy, sixth-grader Alice Winston is left to bear the brunt of her family's troubles: a depressed, bed-ridden mother; a reticent, overworked father; and a rundown horse ranch. As the hottest summer in 15 years unfolds and bills pile up, Alice is torn between dreams of escaping the loneliness of her duty-filled life and a longing to help her father mend their family and the ranch.

To make ends meet, the Winstons board the pampered horses of rich neighbors, and for the first time Alice confronts the power and security that class and wealth provide. As her family and their well-being become intertwined with the lives of their clients, Alice is drawn into an adult world of secrets and hard truths, and she soon discovers that people (including herself) can be cruel, can lie and cheat, and, every once in a while, can do something heartbreaking and selfless. Ultimately, Alice and her family must weather a devastating betrayal and a shocking, violent series of events that will test their love and prove the power of forgiveness.

A wise and astonishing novel about the different guises of love and the often steep tolls found on the road to adulthood, The God of Animals is a haunting, unforgettable debut.

©2007 Aryn Kyle. All rights reserved; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.

What the Critics Say

"[A] confident debut novel." (Publishers Weekly)
"A very impressive debut. Kyle's prose is graceful and mature, and her themes are subtly stitched into the story....A powerful tale, from a writer with real promise." (Booklist)

What Members Say

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    L. Neumar LI, NY 04-29-07
    L. Neumar LI, NY 04-29-07 Member Since 2009

    craft lover

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    "Depressing"

    Although the writing style was lovely, the story regarded disfunctional families and sadness, distressing descriptions of animal cruelty, and no growth in terms of happiness or fulfillment. I was left feeling as though the story was horizontal and simply told a tale of some folks, some horses, and some things that they did along the way that ultimately amounted to nothing of any significance. The story had a simulated conclusion, but for me was totally unsatisfying.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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