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Debut Novel Chronicles Coming of Age in the West

Montana writer Aryn Kyle's award-winning short story, Foaling Season, first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly.

It became the first chapter in her debut novel, The God of Animals, a story of people brought together by their needs.

The protagonist, Alice Winston, is a young girl living on a horse ranch in Desert Valley, Colo.

Alice is forced to grow up fast. Her sister has run off with a rodeo cowboy, her mother locks herself away in her room, and the ranch is run by her overworked and lonely father.

To pay their mounting stack of bills, the family boards the horses of their well-to-do neighbors, and Alice soon discovers an adult world filled with love and loss.

Kyle talks with Scott Simon about her own Colorado upbringing and how she managed to write a book that reveres horses, but doesn't get sentimental about them.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

BooksWeekend Edition Saturday