“Royal Blue” by Christina Oxenberg

Maria Moses has always felt like an outsider in her family. Her mother, a princess from a deposed royal European family, is absorbed in herself and her social life. Her older sister, Miranda, busy with the seduction of older men and the trappings of luxury, alternatively ignores and despises her. And her well-intentioned father is too busy playing tennis to notice his younger daughter’s growing dislocation.

Maria is further removed from her family when a childhood friend dies in an accident and she is sent to boarding school for emotionally disturbed children. There, she is the victim of a terrible crime that threatens to scar her permanently.

Searching for validation she finds Tino, a worldly older married man, who promises to elevate her above her family. But finding a life with him may cost Maria all she has left. Torn by the contradictions in her life, she must face up to her past and her family’s legacy of lies and illegitimacy.

Ranging from the lush summer playgrounds of the rich to windswept Scottish castles, Royal Blue is the evocative and humorous story of a young woman seeking a physical and spiritual home among the parties, palaces, and jet-set lifestyle of a dispossessed, fractured family. Royal Blue marks the impressive debut of a fresh and original voice in fiction.