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A beautiful, gripping family drama - The Horse Whisperer meets the The Memory Keeper's Daughter.
This is the story of the coming of age of 13-year-old narrator Alice Winston: lonely, unloved and eager to escape her dysfunctional family and small-town life. Her father runs a struggling horse barn in a small desert town in the American South-West; her mother has been mysteriously ill for years and never leaves her bedroom. And Nona, her beloved older sister, has run away with a cowboy, leaving Alice to fend for herself in an indifferent world, where horses are loved more than people but people hurt horses just as much as they hurt each other.
When Alice goes looking for love and attention outside the world she knows, the consequences are serious for her and all of her family. This is an extraordinary, beautifully written debut, filled with vivid descriptions of horses and the realities of keeping them but at its heart it's a story of love, loss and family ties, with a wonderful narrator, who is candid, wise, funny, far too knowing for her own good and yet of course not nearly knowing enough...
If The Horse Whisperer showed us how it can be, The God of Animals shows how it more usually is. This is a powerful tale, very gently told. - THEBOOKBAG.CO.UK - Lesley Mason
.. a first novel that's so strong, startling, and moving, that it's a thoroughbred from the first page. - THE BOSTON GLOBE - Caroline Leavitt
"No novel in recent memory has captured the West so well. Kyle is an absolute discovery, her book a perfect read." Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli - Andrew Sean Greer
An atmospheric, intense debut. - GLASGOW HERALD
If you love animals, prepare to have your heart broken - Telegraph & Argus
A memorable novel gracefully compares and contrast the vast landscapes of the human condition ... - USA TODAY - Carol Memmott
Readers whose daughters yearn for horses when they're reaching puberty might do well to give those daughters this thoughtful, heartsick book. - THE WASHINGTON POST - Carolyn See
Aryn Kyle's The God of Animals is a moving, beautifully crafted novel about families, horses, love, death, class in America, and serious weather. Narrated by a twelve-year-old girl, it contains a full adult measure of betrayal and desire and complex joy, and has a terrifying momentum by the end. It's a wonderful book. - Maile Meloy, author Liars and Saints and A Family
[an] astonishingly assured debut...powerfully understated [and] ruefully funnny. - VOGUE (USA)
Aryn Kyle is 27 and lives in Grand Junction, Colorado.She has published stories in The Georgia Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and BEST AMERICAN VOICES 2005, and, in 2005, she was awarded the Rona Jaffe Award. "Foaling Season," taken from the first chapter of this novel, was one of the three stories that won The Atlantic Monthly National Magazine Award for fiction in 2004.