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The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel | [Anton DiSclafani]

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: A Novel

It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age 15, 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.
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Publisher's 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 15, 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 pause resister - 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.

©2013 Anton DiSclafani (P)2013 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (133 )
5 star
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3.6 (121 )
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3.8 (120 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jess West Orange, NJ, United States 07-13-13
    Jess West Orange, NJ, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2012

    Former English major who loves to read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read this book!"
    What did you love best about The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls?

    The writing is lush and gorgeous and yet the author excels at keeping the story moving. Best kind of literary fiction.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Thea, the protagonist, who is a bold and brave girl with flaws and foibles. Smart and caring while being an adolescent who doesn't understand that there are serious consequences to her seemingly private actions.


    Which character – as performed by Adina Verson – was your favorite?

    Thea


    Who was the most memorable character of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls and why?

    Thea ...see above


    Any additional comments?

    Just read this book. It will pull you in quickly and keep you swimming in this world for days to come. I look forward to the author's next book. Bravo first novel!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audie Weatherford,TX, United States 06-10-13
    Audie Weatherford,TX, United States 06-10-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Dreadful!"

    My review is only of the narrator. Her voice lacks personality and I just could not finish the story. I will buy the hard copy and read it, the story sounded interesting. In the future I will be sure to avoid stories narrated by Adina Verson.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Bethesda, MD, United States 08-13-13
    Michelle Bethesda, MD, United States 08-13-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intriguing"
    What made the experience of listening to The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls the most enjoyable?

    The narrator brought Thea to life.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls?

    The relationship between Thea & Mr. Holmes. They learned so much from one another quite unexpectedly.


    What does Adina Verson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She brought the character of Thea to life. Adina did a fantastic job speaking from a 15/16 yr olds perspective.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lida Washington, DC, United States 06-30-13
    Lida Washington, DC, United States 06-30-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Worth a credit"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would with some reservation. There is a lot of coming of age sexuality that I am sometimes uncomfortable with. Also there is a hint to bigger story but the leading up to the climax seems really drawn out (unnecessarily so in my opinion). Howvere the language is lyrical and I am enjoying the narrator who's voice seems perfect for her character.


    If you’ve listened to books by Anton DiSclafani before, how does this one compare?

    I have read none of his books before.


    What about Adina Verson’s performance did you like?

    I had read a negative review of the narrator and was almost persuaded not to by this book. The Washington Post rated it very highly so I went ahead. At first I had the speed a little too fast and I did find the voice jarring BUT I slowed it down ( to normal) and then found the narration to be very in keeping with the mood and subject of the book. It was enjoyable to listen to.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    ?


    Any additional comments?

    I have not finished this book ( I am about 2/3s through it). I am enjoying it but do think it is unnecessarily long for the story it presents. If I had bought an actual book I probably would have skimmed alot of it. I do recommend the book however because it is beautifully written. Worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sudi RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-03-14
    Sudi RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2011

    Coffee-UFOs-Cats-Books-Halloween

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Enough Horses"
    Would you try another book from Anton DiSclafani and/or Adina Verson?

    Hmmmnnn. Maybe. This had enough going on so that I listened to it all but there were times that I was working too hard to learn some element or aspect of the character in order to care about the character(s). And sadly, when I did learn something, it really wasn't all that sympathetic to the character. I thought Ms. Verson a good reader, especially for the narrator's personality.


    If you’ve listened to books by Anton DiSclafani before, how does this one compare?

    This is my first book by DiSclafani.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed any explication involving the horses but the horses were not really a main point in the plot, except that the riding camp/horses fit into the main character's personal likes/talents.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not. I'd had to give away some pertinent plot points to explain why but I can just say that the pivots that turn the plot are fairly non-relative to most peoples' lives and therefore sort of distant and unreachable.


    Any additional comments?

    I give kudos to anyone who finishes writing a novel. And points to DiSclafani for writing from the viewpoint of a teenage girl. I might give another book a try. But it will have to have some elements of day-to-day life which don't reach so far into the periphery of the weird and untypical.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Woodmere, NY, United States 02-28-14
    Katherine Woodmere, NY, United States 02-28-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A disappointment"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I had such high hopes for this book, but I couldn't finish it- halfway through I was very annoyed with the narrator, and really uncomfortable with the more-than-kissing cousins.


    What could Anton DiSclafani have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I found the flashing back and forth from present to past distracting and confusing. This may be easier to follow in book form, but I found it difficult in audiobook form. I also really got frustrated with how the secret scandalous thing Thea had done was dragged out- I'm all for building suspense but this just dragged and felt like it was unnecessarily taunting the reader, which was just annoying.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I found the voice too girlish, and the accents were all the same, and all grated on me. The voice was also very sad, it just sounded like a mopey teenage girl, and while I realize that Thea is a mopey teenage girl, the voice just got to me!


    Do you think The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I cannot say, since I couldn't even make it all the way through the first book


    Any additional comments?

    I found the relationship with Thea and Georgie extremely disquieting, and ultimately that is what caused me to stop listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bil Stachour Wisconsin 01-30-14
    Bil Stachour Wisconsin 01-30-14
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    "Gripping in its way."
    What made the experience of listening to The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls the most enjoyable?

    Disclafani does a great job of getting us inside the head of this young girl. Thea Atwell is precocious in her way, very capable, and complex. The story moves along in segments, with the big reveals held always just out of reach. There's a constant suspense.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Thea is a worthy character to sustain a novel. She is complex and nuanced, but drawn vividly for us.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The end of the book, where several narrative strands are summarized, is especially lovely and poignant.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader, Adina Verson, is wonderful. She's rather dry, but this allows the words on the page to do the work. I'll seek out other books she's recorded.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate AURORA, CO, United States 12-10-13
    Kate AURORA, CO, United States 12-10-13 Member Since 2009
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    "Starts out great than doesn't go anywhere"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No doubt that DiSclafani can write, and the mystery surrounding young Thea's removal from her remote home to the book's title fascinates and intrigues for the first half of the book. The second I found tedious with so little development of secondary characters that I had difficulty caring about them, and such annoyance with the Thea that I was more than ready for the story to end. Lovely performance by Adina Verson. Warning: Strong sexual content not appropriate for listening to where anyone else might here.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Sharp Objects


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MONICA Fort Worth, Texas, United States 07-10-13
    MONICA Fort Worth, Texas, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    13
    5
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    Story
    "Good Rough Draft"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Somewhat. The author had some good ideas, the book just needed to be re-worked a lot.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The main character was rather unsympathetic. I think the author intends a deeper takeaway, given the main character's flaws, but I cannot be sure of that intent. I do love historical fiction, and the author does weave this into the story. I think this could have been a much better novel if it had been seriously re-worked.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    I prefer men to read the male parts and females to read the female parts-it just comes across better and immerses the reader into the story.


    Was The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls worth the listening time?

    Sure, just to see what the hype was about, but I probably would not recommend it to others.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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