The Divines

Ellie Eaton. Morrow, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-301219-6
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. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 09/24/2020
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-301221-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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