Synopses & 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
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.
"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
"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)
"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)
"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
"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
About the Author
Sarah Domet lives in Savannah, Georgia. The Guineveres is her first novel.