The Millions

‘The Divines’: Featured Fiction from Ellie Eaton

In our latest edition of featured fiction—curated by our own Carolyn Quimby—we’re happy to present an excerpt from Ellie Eaton‘s debut novel, The Divines.

The book, which Publishers Weekly says “will keep readers riveted,” follows freelance writer Josephine as she reflects on her time at the (now defunct) St John the Divine—an elite English boarding school for girls—and the scandal that changed their community forever. Booklist writes, “At times both sharp and haunting, this novel embodies the awkwardness and regret of adolescence.”

***

I am Divine.

My mother was Divine and her mother before that, which isn’t uncommon. Though that was at a time when being Divine meant something; it had cachet, as my mother still likes to brag; it opened doors, got you places. Though it’s hard to see specifically where being Divine ever got her, other than married. Perhaps I’m missing the point.

I haven’t spoken to another Divine for fourteen years, maybe more, despite there being ample online opportunities these days to reconnect with my former peers should I so wish. I don’t. Every Christmas and Easter I fly back to England to visit my mother, who, in her sixties now, keeps backdated copies of our Old Girls’ newsletter for me in her downstairs loo, next to Country Living. Births, deaths, marriages, the rare athletic achievement, horses for sale, and, of course, reunions. Endless reunions. Not one of which I have attended. Until, as a newlywed, I take my husband on an impromptu detour from our honeymoon destination, veering off the dual carriageway so unexpectedly at the road sign that he thinks for a heart-stopping moment I might have morning sickness.

“Just to have a look,” I say. “It won’t take long.”

A trip down memory lane, then we’ll be on our way.

I crawl our rental car round the Oxfordshire town, circling closer to where I remember my former school once stood, folding forward over the steering wheel, trying to get my bearings. This is harder than I think it will be. Nothing is as I remember it. Most of the grounds have been flattened. The gym is gone, the maths block,

Sie lesen eine Vorschau. Registrieren Sie sich, um mehr zu lesen.

Mehr von The Millions

The Millions6 min gelesen
Finding Hope at 18,000 Feet: The Millions Interviews Jeff Belanger
When it was summit night, 18,000 feet in elevation, subzero temperatures, and I’m fighting for every molecule of oxygen, I had the temptation to give up, but I didn’t. I love knowing I still have that grit when I need it. The post Finding Hope at 18,
The Millions10 min gelesen
Who Is Unthinkable? On Imbolo Mbue’s ‘How Beautiful We Were’
1. Fake news has never angered me on a visceral level. I don’t earnestly engage with conspiracists who fret about Satan worshippers or baby-eaters, for instance, and I have always found those who do amusing curiosities. For me, real anger has to impl
The Millions5 min gelesen
I Always Write in the Past: The Millions Interviews André Aciman
In writing truth, the act of writing already changes things, even if you swear the story is factually true. The post I Always Write in the Past: The Millions Interviews André Aciman appeared first on The Millions.