February 16, 2021
Emily Layden
St. Martin's Press
Hardcover, 320 pages
A keenly perceptive coming of age novel, All Girls follows nine young women as they navigate their ambitions and fears at a prestigious New England prep school, all pitched against the backdrop of a scandal the administration wants to keep secret.

As the months unfold, and the school's efforts to control the ensuing crisis fall short, these extraordinary girls are forced to discover their voices and their power. A tender and unflinching portrait of modern adolescence told through the shifting perspectives of an unforgettable cast of female characters, All Girls explores what it means to grow up in a place that promises you the world––when the world still isn't yours for the taking.

You grow to love a place... and then you grow up.

"A striking debut."
-Good Housekeeping

"Sharp, engrossing."
-Town & Country

"For fans of Gossip Girl and readers of Curtis Sittenfeld and Emma Straub."

"Incisive, astute."
-Publishers Weekly
Dear Reader, 

I spent most of my twenties working at various boarding and independent day schools, the majority of them all-girls. I loved teaching and the immense privilege of talking about books all day—but most of all I loved working with young women, who impressed me daily with their intellect and wisdom; with their humor and authenticity; with their courage and persistence. 

The truth is, though, that for all the ways teenage girls drive our discourse and shape our culture, they are rarely given credit for these multitudes. I began writing this novel out of a desire to bear witness. My experience in the classroom—and my own lived history—inspired me to try to capture teenage girlhood in all its depth and capacity. The scandal that drives the book functions as a lens, allowing us to see how a place built for the advancement of young women loses itself—and the power girls have to change the course of this history. 

I’m so excited for you to meet the Atwater girls—I hope you love them and believe in them as much as I do!

ALL GIRLS Book Club Menu and Recipe
Nestled in a hilly corner of rural Connecticut, The Atwater School is a haven for progressive thinking and feminist intellectuals—and also a quintessential piece of the New England landscape. From Litchfield and the Berkshires to interior New Hampshire and coastal Maine, boarding schools pepper this section of the country, their clock towers and iron gates as typical to the region as the shifting colors of autumn leaves. 

Atwater loves to celebrate this New England ideal. One of the girls’ favorite traditions is Fall Fest, a day dedicated to the season in all its glory: bobbing for apples, fresh cider doughnuts; a race through a corn maze built just for the school’s use. If it sounds indulgent, that’s because it is! Like most things at Atwater, the food is not your average mess hall dining: I imagine the butternut squash soup would be from a local farm and the brie from a neighboring dairy. The vodka-cranberry would be disguised in a Nalgene bottle or Hydroflask. So put on your best plaid and celebrate as the girls would!  

-Emily Layden
*Soup Bar: Butternut Squash Soup

*Entrée: Turkey, cranberry, and brie snack bites

(from the fall fest truck!)

*Cocktail: Vodka and cafeteria-lemonade
(cranberry lemonade for the fall vibe!)

ALL GIRLS Recipe Party
Bloggers are celebrating the All Girls release with a virtual recipe party.
You'll find their creative book-inspired recipes and reviews on our party page.
Follow #AllGirlsBlogParty on social media for all party posts.
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