Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Guineveres

The Guineveres

A Novel

Sarah Domet

Flatiron Books

READ AN EXCERPT →

BUY THE BOOK

Hardcover

“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

To four girls who have nothing, their friendship is everything: they are each other’s confidants, teachers, and family. The girls are all named Guinevere—Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win—and it is the surprise of finding another Guinevere in their midst that first brings them together. They come to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration convent by different paths, delivered by their families, each with her own complicated, heartbreaking story that she safeguards. Gwen is all Hollywood glamour and swagger; Ginny is a budding artiste with a sentiment to match; Win’s tough bravado isn’t even skin deep; and Vere is the only one who seems to be a believer, trying to hold onto her faith that her mother will one day return for her. However, the girls are more than the sum of their parts and together they form 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.

The nuns who raise them teach the Guineveres that faith is about waiting: waiting for the mail, for weekly wash day, for a miracle, or for the day they turn eighteen and are allowed to leave the convent. But the Guineveres grow tired of waiting. And so when four comatose soldiers from the War looming outside arrive at the convent, the girls realize that these men may hold their ticket out.

In prose shot through with beauty, Sarah Domet weaves together the Guineveres’ past, present, and future, as well as the stories of the female saints they were raised on, to capture the wonder and tumult of girlhood and the magical thinking of young women as they cross over to adulthood.

EXCERPT


The Assumption


 


We were known as The Guineveres to the other girls at the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration because our parents all named us Guinevere at birth, a coincidence that bound us together...

Reviews

Praise for The Guineveres

“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.”
Elle

“Thoughtful and dazzling.”
Harper’s Bazaar

“Wonderful…At times sacred, occasionally profane, The Guineveres is a heavenly read from an author worth watching.”
BookPage

“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.”
Buffalo News

“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.”
National Post

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.”
BookBrowse

“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.”
Columbus Dispatch

“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.”
—PopSugar

“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.”
Publishers Weekly

“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.”
Atlanta Magazine

“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

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Sarah Domet

Sarah Domet lives in Savannah, Georgia. The Guineveres is her first novel.

Sarah Domet

courtesy of the author