Anton Disclafani's 5 Firsts & Lasts

Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls book coverToday's guest: Anton Disclafani Why we love her: Her narrative is addicting, her debut novel is CAPTIVATING.

Her debut: The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

The scoop: It is 1930, the midst of the Great Depression. After her mysterious role in a family tragedy, passionate, strong-willed Thea Atwell, age fifteen, 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.

Our thoughts: Top book of 2013 for sure--whether you love, hate or totally judge Thea, you won't be able to put this one down.  An Absolute MUST READ. 

Giveaway: Two copies. Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, July 14th after 3pm PST.

Fun fact: She currently teaches creative writing at Washington University.

Where you can read more about Anton: Her website, Facebook and Twitter.


Courtesy of Nina Subin


First:  A red head (the first and last time I ever kissed a red head.)

Last:  My husband (I hope I can say that for the rest of my life.)


First:  Charlotte’s Web is the first book I can remember reading by myself and loving, in second grade.  My parents, eager to get me reading for life, paid me 10 cents a chapter.  They stopped paying me, but sometimes I think of how much money I could have accumulated if they hadn’t!

Last:  Belle Cora, by Philip Marguiles (it’s out this January).  It’s long, and totally engrossing.  It felt like Deadwood (one of my favorite TV shows) come to life.


First:  Hmm…I was a pretty shy, reserved child, so everything I did felt like a necessary risk.  I remember being particularly scared of the first day of school each year.  It’s still a relief, when September comes around, to know I don’t ever have to go through that again.

Last:  Riding a gigantic horse.  I rode all throughout childhood and adolescence, and then I started again a year ago.  I’m much more aware of how far I am from the ground this time around.


First:  Convincing my mom to buy me the neon pink skirt from Limited, Too, and wearing it to school in second grade.  I was so proud.

Last:  Running three miles without stopping.  I have a love/hate relationship with running, and it took me forever to build up to that distance.  I’m a master at convincing myself not to exercise, so tricking myself into actually doing it feels great.


First:  at 16, walking into a grocery store with my filthy riding clothes on--I was working at a barn that summer. I was so tired I didn't care if people noticed...and, to my surprise, nobody batted an eye. I was pretty shy as a child, and that was the first time I realized that NO ONE cared. It was pretty liberating.

Last: getting on a horse again after ten years. It was scary and amazing and thrilling all at once.


Thanks, Anton!