Title: The Guineveres
Author: Sarah Domet
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: October 4, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and
Win come to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration by different paths,
delivered into the rigorous and austere care of Sister Fran. Each has
their own complicated, heartbreaking story that they safeguard. But
together they are the all powerful and confident The Guineveres, bound
by the extraordinary coincidence of their names and girded against the
indignities of their plain, sequestered lives. Together, they learn
about God, history, and, despite the nuns' protestations, sex. They
learn about the saints whose revival stories of faith and pain are
threaded through their own. But above all, they plot their futures, when
they can leave the convent and finally find a true home. But when four
comatose soldiers, casualties of the War looming outside, arrive at the
convent, The Guineveres’ friendship is tested in ways they never could
My Two Cents:
This book is about four teenaged girls all named Guinevere. They go by different nicknames: there is Vere (who narrates most of the book), Gwen, Win, and Ginny. All four have ended up at a convent for all different reasons. They cling together and none of the other teenaged girls in the convent are never allowed to be in their inner circle. This is a novel about those relationships that you only seem to develop as a young person where you're almost creating a family rather than just making friends.
This book took a little while to get going. On it's surface, when the book starts out, it seems like a story about four girls who do what four girls are want to do when they have little adult supervision. They cause a ruckus. They dream about the future: all four to varying degrees dream of big lives for themselves, something much different from the convent. I was wondering where the book was going because at first, it just covers what the girls are experiencing at the convent and the small amounts of ruckus that they cause. Eventually it shifts to something deeper as we learn about why the girls end up in the convent. Several men fighting the war end up at the convent and the girls are charged with taking care of them, which leads to them exploring what they want for the future.
There are a lot of layers to explore within the story. The writing was good but confusing at some parts. Most of the book is told from one point of view with other points of view thrown in here and there. It worked well but I wish that there had been more delineation. The book could have also been streamlined a bit to get to the salient points and to make them have a bigger impact. I did like how the author created different voices for the different points of view. They were distinct and heartbreaking in different ways. This was a good debut!