Normally like most men I would judge this book by the dust jacket and move on, far too girlie for me. The blurb tells me it is that it is for fans of The Great Gatsby, so that would be me. I was quitely surprised and moved by the storytelling in this debut novel by Anton Di Sclafani.
The story takes us back to 1930s America in the midst of the depression and that how it touched some families, but the underlying theme through out the book is of a very modern girl turning for a girl to a young women. It shows her voyage of discovery from being a Florida girl to a young women with the complication of hormones, boys and family.
Thea Atwell our protagonist is sent in to exile from her home for the first 15 years of her life as a punishment and in disgrace, and she has been sent to The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls in North Carolina. It is only as the story opens up do we learn of the disgrace that she has brought up on herself and her family, taking the blame for what had happened between her twin brother and her cousin.
As she learns about her role in the tragic events in her family for the first time in her life she has to fit in to a social strata of wealthy girls, which like today is ordered by money and beauty but throw in to this story equestrienne prowess. She learns about herself and her needs which while conforming she does not want to fit so easily.
The story covers her year at Yonahlosse and her yearning to go home. Into the mix brings new friends, new feelings, teenage crushes and above all family.
A wonderful story. told well and you are willing the best for Thea. A totally engrossing story that even us males will enjoy.