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. For Josephine, now in her thirties, the years at St John were a lifetime ago. 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.
The narrative splits into two; one stays in the present, while the other explores Sephine’s memories ... 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.
Ellie Eaton makes her debut with The Divines, which combines the boarding school drama of novels like The Secret History with the emotional grit of works like True Story ... Ellie Eaton is a tremendously skilled writer who is able to bring to life the double-edged sword of freedom and claustrophobia that comes with youth and examine it from a distance ... even more skilled is the way that Eaton tracks these memories from the past and lays them bare against the present, forcing both Josephine and her readers to wonder about the power of perception and how we can reconcile our present with our past ... Provocative and full of insightful takes on toxic friendships, female sexuality and socioeconomic classism, The Divines is a must-read.
The Divines is an excellently written book that will suck you into its storyline. I loved each and every one of the characters and the author did an exemplary job of developing each one. A must-read for fans of the movies Heathers and Mean Girls.