Guineveres Paperback – 11 July 2017
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|Paperback, 11 July 2017||
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- Paperback : 354 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250086620
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250086624
- Dimensions : 13.79 x 2.24 x 20.96 cm
- Publisher : St. Martins Press-3PL; Reprint edition (11 July 2017)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
"Deft and lovely...The perfect weight, in all ways. It's suitable for a vacation, and you can describe it in one inviting line, but then it keeps unfolding and deepening, taking unexpected turns."
--The New York Times Book Review
"If you've been seeking a divine (in every sense) debut novel, you'll savor Sarah Domet's The Guineveres...From heavenly start to earthbound finish, this book is resounding and revelatory on questions of family, faith, and friendship."
"Thoughtful and dazzling."
"Wonderful...At times sacred, occasionally profane, The Guineveres is a heavenly read from an author worth watching."
"A beautiful, sad, engaging story in the hands of American author Sarah Domet, one that gracefully jumps from the girls' present lives to their pasts to their futures, not necessarily in that order. This, her very first novel, belongs in the ranks of the best books of 2016."
--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Irresistible...A book of surprising substance...There is both hilarity and heartache here...A remarkedly layered and affecting book."
"It's like mixing John Milton with Judy Blume or Alexander Pope with Alice Munro...The story teems with everything that makes a good coming-of-age novel...Finely wrought and captivating, The Guineveres is a beautiful debut from a strong female voice that captures, until the very end, the sacrifices required by faithful women, often at expense of themselves."
"The Guineveres is a wondrous look at the aches and pains of growing up...These girls' story gives us something to believe in."
--Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Compassionate...A coming-of-age story about young girls exploring their world and their bodies and, generally speaking, the meaning of life...A powerful story, one that will not be easily forgotten."
"Very Virgin Suicides."
--New York Daily News (7 Books to Read in October)
"A wacky, diverting tale."
--People Magazine (The Best New Books)
"Domet has constructed a complete picture of the survival and revival journeys of four women, who readers will begin to feel as though they know in real life. You will hurt for each of these girls, mourn with them, grow angry at them, relate to their desires and longings, and question their choices--but like The Guineveres themselves, you won't be able to help but to love them intensely."
--Bustle (Best of the Year)
"Insightful...Dreamy, elegantly structured...The glimpse of a year in the life of four passionately confused adolescents serves as a striking debut."
"Beautifully detailed...A moving and sweetly engaging tale. It is sad and funny, exquisitely written with a powerful depth of characterization. It truly is a gem, a worthy read."
--The Maine Edge
"A beautiful debut literary novel by an author to watch."
"Excellent...Domet's debut will lure readers in with well-developed characters, rich language, and small miracles."
--School Library Journal
"A first novel whose tone echoes that of Jeffrey Eugenides's The Virgin Suicides...This phenomenal, character-driven story is mesmerizing."
--Library Journal (starred review)
"Domet's debut is a luminous bildungsroman, brimming with wisdom about how girls view themselves, each other, and the world around them."
--Booklist (starred review)
"Domet deftly weaves in the girls' individual stories and the stories of female saints into her structure, making this a satisfying read on multiple levels."
"Domet's lively writing is as original as her plot, which knits the Guineveres' struggles together with stories of female saints. Poignant and often funny, Domet captures the fever of teenage desire by pinning it against the confines of a strict religious environment."
"Sarah Domet has brought forth some kind of wonderful miracle with The Guineveres. All four Guineveres seek to survive their experiences at The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration, and their lives, so difficult and yet so thrilling to witness thanks to Domet's assured writing, begin to approximate the divine experiences of the saints whom they study. And, best of all, Domet knows just when to look away from the divine and focus instead on matters altogether more earthbound and sinful. This is an amazing book, a unique writer."
--Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of The Family Fang
"The Guineveres is a glorious debut. Sarah Domet is an enthralling storyteller who has an original voice and an ability to create unforgettable characters with a deep and abiding understanding of the human heart. Love, betrayal, forgiveness, it's all here. Readers will savor and rejoice."
--Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker's Wife
"Sarah Domet's The Guineveres is a revelation, the way Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides was a revelation: rarely do we see a writer so young, so brilliant, who wears her brilliance so offhandedly, so charmingly, so winningly. Rarely do we see such a young writer so masterful in her control of language, of form. We saw it in Eugenides' first book, and now we see it in Sarah Domet's The Guineveres. This is a writer, a book, to cherish."
--Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England
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The four engage in a multitude of sometimes humorous, always poignant escapades in an effort to find a physical and ultimately a mental way to transcend the grim life at the convent - a kind of anti-Hogwarts - where the nuns and priests can seem as stifled and starved for affection as their charges.
The Guineveres' eye-opening experiences with the nuns and priests who care for them, especially the alcohol-challenged Father James and the religiously "constipated" Sister Fran, inadvertently teach them the very lessons they were supposed to be sheltered from. These and their shifting relationships with the other girls around them provide a clear-eyed view into what it is like to become a woman in a world that both glorifies and excoriates the female - ironically timely given the current social climate.
The narrator, the adult Vere, who retells the Guineveres' story with the wisdom and tolerance born of time and reflection, gives the tale an additional perspective, untainted by anger or judgement, while building dramatic tension and interest. No heavy handed voice here. Domet uses Vere sparingly and in just the right doses to enhance the novel and move it forward.
The Guineveres is, in its own way, both a literal and figurative hagiography, based not in traditional religion, but in the search of those starved for love, battling loneliness and abandonment, trying to find and make meaning where none appears to exist, making saints of us all.
The novel is also irresistible in the elegance of its construction. A literary masterpiece that should be read and reread to discover new layers of meaning.
This is a book to be savored for its depth, its deft and original use of language, and a power and inventiveness that make it irresistible. Don't expect a guilty and fleeting pleasure. This one will stay with you and change the way you see the world.