x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Book Review: Teen drama at Yonahlossee Riding Camp

In Anton Disclafani's The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, debutantes await the perfect suitor at a Depression-era camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
Anton Disclafani
Riverhead

Anton Disclafani creates the perfect setting for a coming of age novel that is compelling and scandalous.

For a first novel it is also both eloquent and tantalising.

The book opens in the America of the 1930s with the Great Depression moving into its full and ruinous swing. There is a camp nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains where young ladies, debutantes, await the perfect suitor while riding horses and learning how to act refined.

This is Yonahlossee where Thea Atwell finds herself being unceremoniously dropped off by her father after she is perceived to have disgraced her family.

The events leading up to Thea's arrival are slowly revealed to the reader through her interactions with fellow campmates and teachers.

During her stay, Thea tests the boundaries of lust and pleasure, ultimately deciding to sacrifice herself for a friend so that she may be sent home.

When Thea returns to the family fold, she discovers that her relationships will never be the same again and realises that only she can determine her future.

* Jennifer Brock Utne