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The Divines: A Novel
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William Morrow 2021
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Named a Most Anticipated Book 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

With the emotional power of Normal People and the reflective haze of The Girls, a magnetic novel that moves between present-day Los Angeles and a British boarding school in the 1990s, exploring the destructive relationships between teenage girls.

Can we ever really escape our past?

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 is a scorching examination of the power of adolescent sexuality, female identity, and the destructive class divide. Exposing the tension between the lives we lead as adults and the experiences that form us, Eaton probes us to consider how our memories as adults compel us to reexamine our pasts.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/19/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780063012219
ASIN:
B086SYB892
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APA Citation (style guide)

Ellie Eaton. (2021). The Divines: A Novel. William Morrow.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ellie Eaton. 2021. The Divines: A Novel. William Morrow.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ellie Eaton, The Divines: A Novel. William Morrow, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ellie Eaton. The Divines: A Novel. William Morrow, 2021. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Born and raised in England, Ellie Eaton lives in Los Angeles with her family. 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. The Divines is her first novel.

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Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Entertainment Weekly * CNN * Harper's BAZAAR * MSN * E! Online * Refinery 29 * Bustle * Shondaland * Vulture * Lit Hub * Electric Literature * and more!

"The Divines is a cool, chilling and elegant novel." —Sarah Perry, internationally bestselling author of The Essex Serpent

"A scintillating coming-of-age story." —Susie Yang, New York Times bestselling author of White Ivy

With the emotional power of Normal People and the reflective haze of The Girls, a magnetic novel that moves between present-day Los Angeles and a British boarding school in the 1990s, exploring the destructive relationships between teenage girls.

Can we ever really escape our past?

The girls of St John the Divine, an elite English boarding school, were notorious for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys,...

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title
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fullDescription

Named a Most Anticipated Book 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

With the emotional power of Normal People and the reflective haze of The Girls, a magnetic novel that moves between present-day Los Angeles and a British boarding school in the 1990s, exploring the destructive relationships between teenage girls.

Can we ever really escape our past?

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 is a scorching examination of the power of adolescent sexuality, female identity, and the destructive class divide. Exposing the tension between the lives we lead as adults and the experiences that form us, Eaton probes us to consider how our memories as adults compel us to reexamine our pasts.

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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Caroline Zancan, author of We Wish You Luck
      • content: "A fierce, stunning debut that you won't so much read as burn through. Eaton captures all the time honored trapdoors of late girlhood that we know firsthand to be real, but in her wildly talented hands they feel brand new and completely fascinating."
      • premium: False
      • source: Alexandra Chang, author of Days of Distraction
      • content: "The Divines is an absorbing, sharp exploration of the ways our adolescent secrets, relationships, and cruelties shape and haunt us into adulthood. Ellie Eaton's writing is thrilling and intoxicating, whether about the inexplicable power teenage girls have over one another or the challenges of defining a self outside of long-held traditions. A compulsively readable book; I couldn't put it down."
      • premium: False
      • source: Shelf Awareness
      • content: "All in all, The Divines is a well-told story that hurtles towards a strangely satisfying conclusion."
      • premium: False
      • source: Alma,  chosen as a Favorite Book for Winter 2021
      • content: "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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Courtney Maum, author of Touch and Costalegre
      • content: "[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."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Twisty and twisted, The Divines is exquisitely paced—a haunting novel about identity, the cruelties of youth, and the blurry line between nostalgia and obsession. In precise, lacerating detail, Eaton weaves two worlds together: one built around the odd rituals, brutal logic, and savage social structures put forth by a group of teen girls; the other centered on the traumatic implications of growing up privileged but unsupervised, elite but lonely, cut off from one's desire. This is a blistering, brilliant debut."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light
      • content: "In this captivating debut novel, Ellie Eaton traces adolescent female sexuality, class divides, and the weight of formative memories on adults."
      • premium: False
      • source: Vulture, New York Magazine
      • content: "From the very first page, The Divines throws the reader headfirst into the crucible of adolescent girlhood, in all its insecurity and entitlement, brittle vulnerability and callous cruelty. Eaton turns a keen eye toward class, privilege, and trauma, but this novel is above all a ruthlessly compassionate exploration of the stories we tell ourselves about the past—our drive to assuage our regrets, even as we are reluctant to reckon with their repercussions. A confident, nuanced, impeccably paced debut."
      • premium: False
      • source: Micah Nemerever, author of These Violent Delights
      • content: "A potent novel about what it means to remember and how responsible we are for the actions of our youth. Seething with teenage sexuality, friendship and that peculiarly British obsession, class, this is an absorbing read."
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Book Review
      • content: "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...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        October 12, 2020
        Eaton’s intelligent debut follows freelance writer Josephine as she reflects on her past as a bully at a now-defunct all-girls English boarding school. In flashbacks to the mid-1990s, it’s revealed that Josephine’s lower-class roommate, Gerry Lake, suffered a fall from their dorm window that threatened her figure-skating career and led to a scandal that forced the school to close. Before the fall, Gerry had long been bullied by a group of classmates led by Josephine’s frosty best friend, Skipper. Insecure and lonely, Josephine befriends Lauren McKibbin (whose older brother, Stuart, handles maintenance for the school), despite a prohibition on socializing with “townies.” As the girls grow closer, Josephine develops a crush on Stuart and tries to retain the good graces of her old crew by joining in on their bullying of Gerry, even after Gerry helps her deal with an upsetting incident involving Stuart. The book winds down on a satisfying note as a school reunion and Josephine’s travel for an assignment lead her to catch up with key characters and confront some unflattering things about herself. 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.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2020
        Sephine is on her honeymoon with her new husband when they stop in the small British town where she attended boarding school. The students at the all-girls St. John the Divine called themselves Divines. They went by boys' names, looked down their noses at the townies, and engaged in ruthless pranks, until the school was absorbed by a larger one thirty miles away. In town, a woman throws an awful insult at Sephine, causing her to contemplate the Divines' final days. The narrative splits into two; one stays in the present, while the other explores Sephine's memories. To this day, she is affected by the accidental death of her roommate, Gerry, a driven figure skater who was teased and bullied by the other Divines. As she remembers, Sephine must confront how this time at school shaped her life and how culpable she was in creating the trauma of others. At times both sharp and haunting, this novel embodies the awkwardness and regret of adolescence, complicated by Sephine's superior identity as a Divine. A layered and complex debut.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

subtitle
A Novel
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publisher
William Morrow
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