‘The Divines’ – Ellie Eaton

The Divines is, I have to say, a curious read. A dramatic opening, then a lengthy exploration of the build-up to that moment interspersed with moments from our narrator’s present resulting in a perplexing ending that had me scratching my head rather.

A boarding school environment and somewhat toxic friendships were the key elements. Our main character Josephine looks back on her time at the school with detachment, and I could never tell whether her memories were deliberately obtuse or whether she was covering something.

I found the way the girls were described rather intimidating if I’m being honest. As an adult thinking about the behaviour of the girls collectively I wonder how on earth nobody questioned this. As such, I couldn’t help wonder to what extent her recollections were entirely trustworthy.

The book read rather like a puzzle that I still don’t feel I’ve solved. The ending casts a very new light on events, and I think this may be one to read again to see if I missed something obvious or if this mood is deliberate.