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The Divines: A Novel Kindle Edition
The Elin Hilderbrand Literati Book Club Pick!
Recommended by Entertainment Weekly * CNN * Harper's BAZAAR * E! Online * Refinery 29 * Bustle * Shondaland * Vulture * The Millions * Lit Hub * Electric Literature * Parade * MSN * and more!
“For when you want a coming-of-age novel with a dark twist. In this provocative novel, the past isn’t always as far away as you think.” —The Skimm
“[S]o beautifully written that I marked lines—for their perceptive genius—on nearly every page... This perfectly paced novel examines class structures and sexual identity and betrayals and tragedy in a way that had be both wanting to rip through the pages and wanting to savor each sentence until the extremely satisfying end." —Elin Hilderbrand for Literati
Can we ever really escape our pasts?
The girls of St John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, were notorious for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys, and chain-smoking cigarettes. They were fiercely loyal, sharp-tongued, and cuttingly humorous in the way that only teenage girls can be. For Josephine, now in her thirties, the years at St John were a lifetime ago. She hasn’t spoken to another Divine in fifteen years, not since the day the school shuttered its doors in disgrace.
Yet now Josephine inexplicably finds herself returning to her old stomping grounds. The visit provokes blurry recollections of those doomed final weeks that rocked the community. Ruminating on the past, Josephine becomes obsessed with her teenage identity and the forgotten girls of her one-time orbit. With each memory that resurfaces, she circles closer to the violent secret at the heart of the school’s scandal. But the more Josephine recalls, the further her life unravels, derailing not just her marriage and career, but her entire sense of self.
Suspenseful, provocative, and compulsively readable, The Divines explores the tension between the lives we lead as adults and the experiences that form us, probing us to consider how our memories as adults compel us to reexamine our pasts.
From the Publisher
“For when you want a coming-of-age novel with a dark twist. In this provocative novel, the past isn’t always as far away as you think.” -- The Skimm
“In this captivating debut novel, Ellie Eaton traces adolescent female sexuality, class divides, and the weight of formative memories on adults.” -- Vulture, New York Magazine
"[G]ripping...Jumping between modern-day Los Angeles and 1990s Britain, The Divines examines destructive bonds and lingering traumas." -- E! Online
"An exploration of the destructive relationships between teenage girls at an entirely toxic and secluded boarding school. What more could you want?" -- Parade
"A provocative meditation on our obsession with youth—including our own—and an exploration into the power and perversity of teenage girls, The Divines is perfectly twisted in its reflection of an utterly toxic environment, making it impossible to put down till you get to its end.” -- Refinery 29
“The Divines is a cool, chilling and elegant novel that intrigues and compels the reader, while filleting the absurdities of British class hierarchy with a very, very sharp knife. In Eaton's stylish and controlled prose, the oppressive atmosphere of a girls' boarding school becomes the site of a violent and mysterious act, but also a lens through which to examine the intoxicating and unnerving power of adolescent sexuality, the dangers and consolations of friendship, and the toxic nature of the class divide. It's a terrific, entertaining and astute work and one of considerable relevance to the way we live now.” -- Sarah Perry, Internationally bestselling author of The Essex Serpent and Melmoth
“The Divines is a scintillating coming-of-age story about the brutal bonds of female boarding school friendships, class prejudices, and the ways in which false memories can take the place of truth. Sephine is an unflinching and utterly convincing narrator. I lapped up every delicious detail.” -- Susie Yang, New York Times bestselling author of White Ivy
"[An] intelligent debut… Eaton does a good job describing class tension and the misery of trying to fit into a social clique as a teenager. Josephine’s steady unraveling of her teenage dramas will keep readers riveted." -- Publishers Weekly
“At times both sharp and haunting, this novel embodies the awkwardness and regret of adolescence.... A layered and complex debut.” -- Booklist --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
About the Author
Ellie Eaton is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Guardian, the Observer, and Time Out. Former writer-in-residence at a men’s prison in the United Kingdom, she holds an M.A. in creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London, and was awarded a Kerouac Project residency. Born and raised in England, Ellie now lives in Los Angeles with her family. The Divines is her first novel.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B086SYB892
- Publisher : William Morrow (Jan. 19 2021)
- Language : English
- File size : 3730 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 318 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1529340136
- Best Sellers Rank: #138,434 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from Canada
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I loved this book. It’s true to say that it’s a slow burn—however, the complexity of the characters draws you in. I found myself both despising them, and sympathizing with them in equal measure. The story isn’t a page-turner, it doesn’t twist and turn and surprise you chapter after chapter. Rather, it draws you in as you dive into the strange upper-class world of the ‘Divine’.
This book is written in shades of grey, not black and white, it's a book that through an investigation into another world, invites introspection into your own.
I enjoyed reading this book. The character development was excellent. I appreciated the insight Josephine gleamed from others when they spoke of how she was perceived while at school. Where the book excels to me, however, is in observing Josephine’s personal insight into her true identity as the book progresses. On a more critical note, while I found the antics of The Divines were at times humorous, there was also evidence that some of these girls could be unkind to the point of bullying. The way they treated the staff and town’s residents was abhorrent, strongly suggestive of a pretentious upbringing likely fuelled by their time at the school. As a result, I found the characters were not likeable - a must have for me in order to be fully invested in a book. Additionally, the story felt a little long in parts and I found myself wanting to return to Josephine’s current storyline.
I listened to the audiobook edition of the book which was narrated by Imogen Church who gives a very good performance. I appreciated her ability to voice several characters and found her pacing to be excellent. I listened to the book at my usual 1.25x speed which I found to be comfortable. I would not hesitate to recommend the audiobook format to those readers who enjoy this format.
Thanks to Netgalley and Harper Audio for the ARC of this audiobook in exchange for the honest review provided here.
Top reviews from other countries
None of the characters developed into better people, everyone is self absorbed, and behavior towards staff and teachers is totally unbelievable.
The end comes about very abruptly, with no conclusion - answers are left to your imagination.
I know people tend to muddle their memories, but Josephine's memories seem to be the result of a
I also did not understand the need for the in depth descriptions of Josephine's adult sexual acts. It added
nothing to the story. As a teenager it made sense and reflected the confusion and angst girls experience.
I'm sorry for the bad review, but don't waste your time.