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The Divines

The Divines

An emotional and gripping debut novel from an exciting British writer for fans of MY DARK VANESSA

A seductive and arresting debut about female identity, sexuality, class and obsession for fans of THE GIRLS and ROANOKE GIRLS, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES.
Can we ever really escape the scars of our past?
Set during the last days of a disgraced boarding school, the novel weaves between present day Los Angeles and Britain in the 1990s A spate of pornographic polaroids and a violent accident bookend Josephine’s last year at St. John the Divine, an elite all-girls English boarding school. Divines are known for flipping their hair, harassing teachers, chasing boys and chain-smoking cigarettes. Joe and her friends are fiercely loyal, sharp tongued and witty in the way that only teenage girls can be.

When Joe is forced to board with Gerry Lake, the class pariah, she feels the ground beneath her shift. An unlikely friendship with a townie named Lauren further upends her world, as does a tragedy that changes everything.

Fifteen years later and Josephine, née Sephine, is living in virtual exile, having not spoken to another Divine since those last fateful days of school. But a brief trip to the now shuttered campus reawakens long buried memories, and Sephine finds herself obsessed with her time as a Divine. As she circles ever closer to the events of that doomed spring, her life begins to unravel, derailing not just her relationships and work, but her entire sense of self.

‘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

(p) 2021 Harper Audio
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Modern & Contemporary Fiction (post C 1945)

On Sale: 18th February 2021

Price: £21.99

ISBN-13: 9781529340167

Reviews

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
Alexandra Chang, author of Days of Distraction
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, author of White Ivy
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
Araminta Hall
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
Micah Nemerever, author of These Violent Delights
'Girls are vicious,' a character in The Divines says towards the end, and Ellie Eaton has given us every ounce of that viciousness, meticulously portioned and weighed, the pain of it held up to the light. Seductive and uncomfortable in equal measure, the real raw strange runs through this book, that indigestible part of the human experience we all choke on from time to time
Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen and The Girls from Corona Del Mar
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, author of THE ESSEX SERPENT
Compelling and very atmospheric. Really interesting on how we remember the past and carry it with us
Kate Sawyer, author of THE STRANDING
Remembering the girls of St. John the Divine, Josephine, in her 30s, ruminates on her bullying days at boarding school. In this captivating debut novel, Ellie Eaton traces adolescent female sexuality, class divides, and the weight of formative memories on adults
New York Magazine
A dark delight . . . 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.
Refinery29
Exploring the destructive relationships of teenage girls and the echoes they have on our grown lives, this is an explosive debut
Stylist
Compelling and very atmospheric. Really interesting on how we remember the past and carry it with us
Kate Sawyer, author of The Stranding
This elegant tale of class privilege and bullying at an exclusive girl's boarding school in the 90s makes you feel as though you are trapped alongside conflicted protagonist Josephine
iNews, Best Books of 2021