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The Guineveres

3.31  ·  Rating details ·  3,011 ratings  ·  514 reviews
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, d
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Flatiron Books
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Jessica The book didn't state the time period, but American soldiers were brought to the convent so I assumed end of 1940s, start of 1950s.

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Average rating 3.31  · 
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 ·  3,011 ratings  ·  514 reviews

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Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved the Guineveres, all of them. An unexpected surprise as I expected another droll family saga but it's about an orphanage.

The girls that this story revolves around are all called Guinevere. Naturally they stick together in the orphanage and look out for one another and plot to escape. The girls have such dark history and family memories that make you cringe. Loved this author and look forward to more from her.
Lolly K Dandeneau
May 04, 2016 rated it liked it
"Of course, this was nearly two decades ago, and some of the details I've since forgotten. Call it willful amnesia or an act of forgiveness."

All of the Guineveres (Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win) end up at The Sister's of Supreme Adoration and not at their own choosing. It's a slow creep into finding out why they each ended up there, and for me- that was the gooey inside that made reading worthwhile. It is quiet as a church, pun intended, as the reader joins along in their young antics.
Leah Rachel von Essen
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
There are a lot of things I did not like about The Guineveres by Sarah Domet, which I read while walking down humid, heavy skies, but I’ll start with what I did like. The book tells the story of four girls named Guinevere—Vere, Win, Ginny, and Gwen—all of whom were left behind at the same convent by their parents. They’re a sort of clique, and their bonding escalates when a group of soldiers comes to the sick ward of the convent.

Throughout the novel are the stories of how each Guinevere came to
Sonia Reppe
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: boarding-school
Four girls who attend a Catholic boarding school in a convent form a tight friendship to assuage their longing for the family members who abandoned them. Told through the 1st-person view of one of the girls looking back to when she was 15, and the events that marked their quiet, devout, ritualistic life.

Each of the girl's personalities are fleshed out and distinct. Their dialogue is believable as sheltered Catholic girls; they all believe the doctrine that they are force-fed daily, but that doe
Jan 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mundane-fic
"Write what you know" means do the research.

Most of the specific facts about war (knitting socks, unified country behind war effort, etc.) indicate WWII.

Most of the atmosphere about hardship leading to families dumping girls feels like early 1940s.

But most of the specific facts about Catholic practices would have to be the 1970s at the earliest -- they're all post Vatican Council II and well established.

Result is a muddled, unhistorical mess.
Lekeisha The Booknerd
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
*More 2.5 stars * Interchangeable Guineveres and a lot of mindless drivel. There are some good parts, but this is one book that I will forget about as soon as I put a period at the end of this.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
If this is Sarah Domet's debut effort, then we can count on some true masterpieces coming to market in the years ahead. Her story of four abandoned girls (all named Guinevere) living at a convent home during the War kept me in thrall for hours. She braids together a number of complex stories to create a work that offers hope, desolation, love, and loneliness in turns. "The Guineveres," as they come to be called, have only each other as they make their way through adolescence at the convent - but ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
First Sentence: “We were known as The Guineveres to the other girls at the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration because our parents all named us Guinevere at birth, a coincidence that bound us together from the moment we met.”

Positives: This book explores the nature of female friendship, love under the direst of circumstances, and how our parents choices affect our future. It paints a vivid picture of life behind the unyielding stone walls of a convent and the neuroses that inevitably come with a constant em/>
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a melancholy, character driven novel about four girls named Guinevere who become friends after being abandoned in a convent as children/young teens. It's a coming of age story set in a very restrictive environment. I really enjoyed that despite having the same name, each girl had a very distinct personality. Some parts were very funny and many were quite sad. I loved that the story followed them into adulthood so we could see what happened to them in the real world. It's a bittersweet e ...more
Meg - A Bookish Affair
Oct 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2016
This book is about four teenaged girls all named Guinevere. They go by different nicknames: there is Vere (who narrates most of the book), Gwen, Win, and Ginny. All four have ended up at a convent for all different reasons. They cling together and none of the other teenaged girls in the convent are never allowed to be in their inner circle. This is a novel about those relationships that you only seem to develop as a young person where you're almost creating a family rather than just making frien ...more
Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it

This is one of the fall releases I was most looking forward to reading--it's about four girls growing up in a convent home, all left there by their families, but brought together by the one thing they have in common--all four are named Guinevere. They long to escape their dull days and return to the world--but everything changes when several comatose soldiers are brought to the convent to recover from The War (WWII maybe? It's not made explicit). The story is narrated by one of the girl
Kimmery Martin
Oct 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Please visit for more book reviews and author interviews, including an interview with Sarah Domet to be published soon.

The Guineveres is the story of four girls with the same name—nicknamed Win, Ginny, Gwen and Vere—who find themselves captive in a convent, subject to the strict ministrations of the nuns of the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration. Ginny is artistic and rebellious, Win is strong but secretive, Gwen is gorgeous and bold. And Vere, the center of their circle, is innocent and faithful, sGuineveres/>The
Carol Taylor
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really liked The Guineveres but I think it's partly because I was raised as a Catholic. The four Guineveres, who become bonded because of their names, end up in a Catholic orphanage/old folks' home for various reasons. The orphanage is run by nuns with a Catholic priest on site to say Mass and hear Confessions. The story is interspersed with histories of Catholic saints - young women who have either wonderful or disastrous futures as they come of age - easy for the Guineveres (and me) to relat ...more
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted so badly to like this book, which is why I kept at it. But I didn't. Uneven writing, predictable and nostalgic imagery and the most facile depiction of Catholicism and religious orders that I have ever encountered in fiction. And I know about being schooled by nuns!
Rebecca Engebretson
Nov 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: half-reads
Calling it quits on page 175. Too slow for me. And I still can't keep the 4 characters straight. Like which Guinevere is the narrator? Maybe someone else will enjoy this one more.
May 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
Definitely should have bailed on this one. Not a book for me.
Allen Adams
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

As readers, we all have authors, styles and genres that sit in our respective wheelhouses. These are the books with proven track records in our eyes, ones that we can feel confident about going in.

But sometimes, we come across a book that is an unknown quantity. Maybe it’s a debut author or the themes are ones we don’t tend to seek out. Perhaps the story as described on the book jacket or via the press release isn’t something that piques our interest. The temptation there is
G Christine
Jul 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Growing up I always-viewed nuns as being better then the rest of us living a life totally dedicated to prayer and sacrifice. Wondering what it would be like to be a nun living in a convent, I was drawn to this story of four young girls deposited by their families to the Sisters of Supreme Adoration. Each of the “Guinevere’s” arrived with their own sad survival stories at times approximating the lives of the saints whom they study. They each struggle to maintain their essence while exploring both ...more
Melissa Rochelle
Four girls -- all named Guinevere (Vere, Gwen, Ginny, and Win) -- are left at a convent by their families. As their tale unfolds (as told by Vere) we learn about the tragic lives of Saints and about the tragic stories that left The Guineveres abandoned by their families at The Sister's of Supreme Adoration.

The author did a wonderful job of making Vere's voice authentic; however, I struggled with the time and place. WHEN was this? What war? Where is this? I think I understand the reason for the
Mary Ann
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE
This is so bad for so many reasons. I stuck with it for more than half the book. I could write extensively about it but I don't want to waste any more time on it. Don't waste yours either.
Carmen Liffengren
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
There's nothing I like more than a good coming-of-age story, but The Guineveres just struck me as both odd and off almost throughout the entire reading experience. The Guineveres explores the friendship of four young girls bound together by the singular fact that they all share the same name. However, they all adopt different nicknames: Vere, Win, Gwen, and Ginny to distinguish themselves. The Guineveres slowly doles out how each girl arrived at the Sisters of the Supreme Adoration Convent. Each story is profoundly sad, but ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Four girls named Guinevere abandoned by their parents to The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration. Four comatose soldiers returned from the War and cared for in a wing of the Sisters' convent. These two conceits drive the plot of The Guineveres, as the titular girls discover--and lose--themselves within the cloistered life of the orphanage. Narrated by the Guinevere who goes by Vere, but usually in the plural "we," each girl's story starts with loss and seems to be compounded at every turn by furthe ...more
Oct 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
The writing is very good. For anyone Catholic -especially having experience with nuns and catholic school will appreciate it. There was one plot point towards the end I could have done without but overall it was an enjoyable book.
Nov 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
Really more 3.5 stars for me but I'll round up to 4 because I did enjoy it.
Jul 30, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: giveaways
The cover of this book is terrific. I am excited about getting a copy through the First Reads program and look forward to reading it. The plot is interesting and certainly piques my interest!
Cindy Roesel
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was so excited to finally get to read Sarah Domet’s novel, THE GUINEVERES (FlatironBooks). Being a Catholic, I love reading a narrative which includes my faith.
“Their parents gave them away.” 
Not the best way to meet three other girls, who share your name. But in THE GUINEVERES (FlatironBooks), four girls, all named Guinevere, are for various reasons, abandoned at Sisters of the Supreme Adoration. And while each has her own unique sad story, the Guineveres couldn’t be any different
Mary Clare
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review!

In a single orphanage, there are four Guineveres. Four girls with the same name and an unusually close connection. Though the girls have each other, they are generally isolated from society while they are at The Sisters of the Supreme Adoration. Their friendship begins to change when the orphanage becomes a care facility for soliders who are in a coma and when they gain positions as alter girls for the priest.

This book had a lot of really fantastic elements. Firstly, I
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I started this book as an audio and read the second half. I was intrigued by the premise of four girls (all named Guenivere) sent to a convent, as wards, until they turned 18. The back stories were compelling and the loss of childhood a tragedy. It seems there were a lot of victims of dire circumstances during this time and another layer of grief for the dead, missing, and unknown comatose soldiers whom the nuns cared for. The audio did drag and I was happier with reading it myself but it is sti ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Because of this book's overarching themes of teenage friendship and Catholicism, I thought I would love it. Instead I was a little confused and mostly bored by it. There's also not a lot of hope in the novel. Still, the writing was compelling enough that I finished it fairly quickly. (Edit: just learned it's a debut novel - I loved the author's writing style so I'd definitely read future works by her).

Four teenage girls grow up together in a convent during (what I presume is) World W
Emily Cooper
Disclaimer! I DNFed this book. I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway and I have been trying to read it for several days and I only managed to make it a little over 100 pages in. I couldn't get into the story because it's based on 4 girls who are living in a convent together, and I have no interest in Catholicism. I also didn't like how the story was being told by one of the 4 girls but it would randomly jump from telling the story in the past, to making comments about the story in the p ...more
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Sarah Domet’s debut novel, The Guineveres, was released from Flatiron Books in October 2016. She’s also the author of 90 Days to Your Novel (Writers Digest Books, 2010). She holds a Ph.D. in literature and creative writing from the University of Cincinnati where she once served as the associate editor of The Cincinnati Review. Originally from Ohio and still a Midwesterner at heart, she now lives in Savannah, Georgia.
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“Maybe that's just what nostalgia is: a willingness to embrace the pain of the past.” 3 likes
“No one can ever know you like those with whom you've shared the pangs of your youth.” 3 likes
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