I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I generally do not read realistic fiction. In my teens, this was my go-to genre. But somewhere in university, I reverted back to my life of science fiction and fantasy. However, there had been a lot of hype surrounding this novel so I knew I couldn’t just let it slip by. This novel was released early this month, so hopefully you will get a better sense of whether you want to give it a shot or not after my review!
The Guineveres are united by their name; they all share the same one and were all sent to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration through different paths. Together, they become each other’s friends, condidants, and family. Gwen loves to act and dreams of becoming a model; Ginny is an artiste through and through; Win is the tough one, who acts as the peacemaker; and Vere is the true believer, holding onto her faith constantly. While each girl is unique, it is only when they are together that they become powerful and confident. But as time goes on, the Guineveres become tired of waiting for their lives to change. They want to leave the convent and they want to do it NOW. When four comatose soldiers from the War arrive at the convent, the girls realize that they may just have gotten their ticket to get out. But will the world be everything they had hoped for?
This novel definitely evokes deep feelings in the reader. As I was reading, I felt myself drawn to each of the Guineveres in turn, especially when their backstories were revealed. This book was something I could both relate to and also feel completely alienated by. I could relate to the feelings of wanting to grow up, and feeling confused about my place in the world. But the deeper emotions of the girls was something that I could never empathize with because it was on such a different level; I don’t think I have ever experienced that level of sadness or pain. Throughout the story, you find out in snippets about the future of each girl except for the narrator – that is left until the very end. That was one of my favorite things about this novel; you thought you knew how it would end, because of these snippets, but when you actually got to the end of the story, you would still feel surprised because it wasn’t what you had actually imagined. Overall, this story made me sad. It is a poignant, beautiful story – but it is a sad one, and it evokes a deep sadness, one that stays with you for a while after you finish the last page. Looking for a good realistic/historical fiction? Check this one out. It will definitely keep you in its grip from the first page to the last.