A pretty run-of-the-mill "orphan" coming of age story. The "life at boarding school" scenario is pretty well mined at this point (Bronte, Rowling, etc..) and there's nothing new here. I had trouble seeing any of the four girls as individuals, they were not sharply drawn enough to stand apart from the group. The "backstory" chapters were basically a litany of contemporary social problems. And the vividly horrific life stories of the various saints did not add much to the contemporary narrative.
Still, as the emotional stakes grow higher toward the end , the account of how schoolgirl ideas about romance can actually grow into devotion was rather moving. But there is an unsatisfying ending for the Guinevere who is the main narrator.
Gave up a third of the way through. In my opinion The four Guineveres weren't real people nor was the time period discernible from the setting description. (What WAS the time period anyway?) Sorry I wasted my time with this book; there are too many other titles on my To Read list.
It’s possible a catholic background is necessary to fully appreciate this coming of age story of four girls named Guinevere who bond for the simply reason of their names after each was abandoned by their family in a convent/orphanage. Domet totally nails the magical thinking and vulnerability of teen-age girls.
I really enjoyed this unique coming-of-age story. Four girls named Guinevere become close after being left by their families to grow up in a convent, from which they desperately want to escape. They see a chance to leave when wounded soldiers arrive at the convent, and the girls form a plan to return to the outside world to nurse "their boys"--if the boys ever wake up from their comatose states. Charming and bittersweet, the book shows us how the girls wrestle with questions of friendship, faith, and forgiveness. I loved Sarah Domet's writing--she created a beautiful and melancholic world filled with hope and tragedy and characters who embodied the same qualities. I'm already eager to read more from her.
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