A debut novel by Anton DiSclafani, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls was a book I could barely tear myself away from.
Set in the early 1930's, Thea is a teenager dealing with first love and her own sexual desire. As the daughter of a wealthy doctor and his wife in Florida, her life has been spent riding her beloved horse, playing with her twin brother, Sam, and her cousin Georgie. Yet, when she finds herself in trouble because of a boy, she is sent away to the Yonahlossee Riding Camp For Girls where her father has paid for her to live and go to school for an entire year with nothing more than an occasional letter from her family.
Thea tells her story as though time has elapsed and she has survived the events of this tumultuous time in her life. DiSclafani's depiction of life in Florida in the 1930's transported me back to that time and place - orange groves and unbearable summer heat along with financial struggle as the Depression begins. As Thea spends her time at Yonahlossee, located near the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, she finds girlfriends - the first she has ever had in her life - and becomes more aware of her sexuality.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls should be a huge summer hit - a perfect beach read well worth every page.