Literati Book Club: The Divines by Ellie Eaton

July 5th, 2021 Kimberly Review 8 Comments

5th Jul
The Divines

I’ve been given the chance to enjoy a few Literati Book Club boxes and my first selection was The Divines by Ellie Eaton. This was a book selected by Elin Hilderbrand -Queen of the Beach Reads. The box contains one hardcover copy, a Q&A and bookmark. You also get access to the Literati App where you can join book club discussions before during and after. Grab an iced coffee and learn more about the boxed book club and The Divines.

Literati Book Club: The Divines by Ellie Eaton
The Divines
by Ellie Eaton
Genres: Fiction
Source: Gifted
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

With the emotional power of Normal People and the reflective haze of The Girls, a magnetic novel that moves between present-day Los Angeles and a British boarding school in the 1990s, exploring the destructive relationships between teenage girls.

Can we ever really escape our past?

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. They were fiercely loyal, sharp-tongued, and cuttingly humorous in the way that only teenage girls can be. For Josephine, now in her thirties, the years at St John were a lifetime ago. She hasn’t spoken to another Divine in fifteen years, not since the day the school shuttered its doors in disgrace.

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.

Suspenseful, provocative, and compulsively readable, The Divines is a scorching examination of the power of adolescent sexuality, female identity, and the destructive class divide. Exposing the tension between the lives we lead as adults and the experiences that form us, Eaton probes us to consider how our memories as adults compel us to reexamine our pasts.

Book Club Chick-lit Beach Read Standalone

June’s selection was The Divines by Ellie Eaton. Before reading the book club asked,” Do you remember high school fondly or would you prefer to leave that time of your life in the past?” For me, high school was a busy time. I was neither popular nor unpopular. I found my peers to be immature and my closest friends had already graduated. I ran the school paper, worked a full-time job and kept my nose clean.

We meet Josephine on her honeymoon. She and her new hubby are traveling Europe when they make a detour to see her old boarding school, St John the Divine. Josephine, like her mother, was a hair flipping, chain smoking Divine. The visit to the now closed school brings back memories, ones she isn’t sure she wants to remember.

The story that unfolds moves back and forth between present day- 1990s Los Angeles and her years at the boarding school over fifteen years ago. It raised the question of what if you were one of the mean girl in high school? We also see Josephine struggle with her current life, marriage and motherhood as the shadows of the past consume her thoughts.

Eaton captured those years of adolescence and our desire to fit in, discover and the uncertainty of it all. We experience Josephine’s firsts, feel her emotions, self-doubt, desires and the weight of the teen years. It took me over a week to read the book as found small doses worked best as we pivoted between past and present. I found the past held my attention more. I am not at all sure I liked adult Josephine.

However, as the story progresses, foreshadowing to the event pulled me further in. To me the ending of this story was brilliant and made the entire book. I devoured the last one forth of the book in a single sitting and left me satisfied.

This isn’t a book I would have selected for myself, but the discussions and reflection of my high school years made it an enjoyable one. From social divide to our own feminity The Divine proved to be a provocative read.

Amazon | Audible

Literati Book Club: The Divines by Ellie Eaton shares the story of Josephine between present-day Los Angeles and a British boarding school in the 1990s #MeanGirls #selfreflection #BookClubPick #Literati Click To Tweet

About Ellie Eaton

Ellie Eaton

Ellie Eaton is a freelance writer, whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Observer and Time Out. Former Writer-in-Residence at a men’s prison in the UK, she holds an MA in creative writing from Royal Holloway, University of London and was awarded a Kerouac Project residency. Born and raised in England, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. The Divines is her first novel.

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About the Literati Book Club

Literati is book club, reimagined.

New books chosen monthly by people you admire. Inspiration or entertainment? It’s your call.

I started with Elin Hilderbrand Book Club – Stories that show just how diverse and elevated a “beach book” can be.Take the idea of a “beach book” to new heights. The Beach and Beyond is for anyone who loves smart, sparkling writing matched with a driving narrative. Elin will curate a list of books that will become ones you’ll recommend to any friend looking for that indisputable great read. However, there are twelve different adult clubs and even clubs for kids.

There are two types of memberships:

  • Premium membership: includes the monthly book and allows you to buy other book club selections for $12.00. This membership is $25.00 monthly or $20.00 a month if purchased annually.
  • Standard membership: $8.25 a month. You bring your own copy of the book and gain access to the discussions, selections, app and can purchase selected books for $12.00 Try it for 99 cents.

Perks, each month you get to see the next month’s selection for all the clubs and can switch clubs. If you aren’t interested in swag but are excited to discuss books and engage with other readers, this is a fun way to explore new books.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

8 Responses to “Literati Book Club: The Divines by Ellie Eaton”

  1. ShootingStarsMag

    Glad to hear you really loved this one. As for my own high school days, I was lucky to have some great friends – otherwise, I think I would have disliked it a lot more. I had a lost of anxiety during those years too so it was rough sometimes.

  2. Katherine

    Oh this sounds fun! I’ve joined a couple of book clubs in real life but they either fizzled or weren’t super book related. I was going to join one at the library but with the pandemic and then Will getting sick it doesn’t seem like a good option right now. This looks really interesting! Thanks for sharing. I’ll definitely be looking into this.

  3. Nadene

    My high school years was ok. I am not sure I would want to revisit that period of my life. The book sounds intersting.

  4. Wendy Williams

    Such a nice review of such an interesting book. I can’t imagine spending High School at a boarding school. The book club looks interesting, I have never signed up for a book club.