By Jaclyn Bethany
Sarah Domet’s debut novel, The Guineveres, came to our attention among the stacked paperbacks at a Los Angeles Barnes and Noble. The cover art alone caught our eye: a striking image of a girl’s golden braid, tucked between the latest crime fiction and bestsellers.
The Guineveres has been compared to Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides—and rightly so. With its lyrical, poetic style, it’s easy to imagine the text as a future Sofia Coppola film. The story follows six girls, each named Guinevere, as they come of age in a strict convent. The novel has a timeless feel. We do not know if it takes place hundreds of years ago or today—but that’s precisely the point.
Growing up, Domet herself attended a Catholic school and was always fascinated by religion, hence why she chose to explore the subject in her first novel. “There were so many weird things growing up in that system that you just don’t realize,” she says However, as a teenager, Domet found her escape through literature—The Diary of Anne Frank, Margaret Atwood’s works, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, come to mind. The characters in these books led Domet to start thinking about “what it means to be a woman, and really, what it means to be a strong woman.” Domet, who recently gave birth to a daughter, found herself asking: “How do I want her to see the world?”
For the next generation, The Guineveres provides an escape into a magical, and sometimes brutal, world.
The Guineveres was published by New-York based Flat Iron Books, and is now available to order worldwide.