The Scorpio Races
A girl has never ridden in the deadly Scorpio Races, an annual water horse race held on the beaches of an isolated island that offers money and glory to the one who wins and survives. At least not until Puck Connolly, responsible for caring for her two brothers and desperate for the grand prize, feels she has little choice but to enter, even if it may cost her her life. The race causes her to clash with Sean Kendrick, returning race champion and local hero, who Puck comes to realize is not the person she thought he was.
To me, November is the Scorpio Races. It’s dark and occasionally scary (a scene with a water horse sniffing around in a barn still creeps me out) with a touch of romance. Come to think of it, the book is downright gothic. But mostly, to me, it captures the atmosphere of the month – cold, gray beaches; the tense combination of dread and anticipation, for the race in the book and for winter in real life; and the solitude that Puck feels in her island community and that descends on the rest of us as the changing weather and early sunsets drive us indoors.