Ellie Eaton’s debut coming-of-age novel is Divine

Ellie Eaton’s debut coming-of-age novel is Divine

Ellie Eaton is in limbo. She grew up in England and has lived in America for the past decade. She’s both an English writer and an American one. But she’s also neither.

Her book, like her, straddles between an American adulthood and coming-of-age in a British boarding school. The girls in The Divines are nothing like her and her friends, but the spirit is there. Half of the story takes place in the insulated world of a British boarding school where the real world barely matters. The other half is about one of the girls, all grown up, reckoning with the decisions she made decades ago.

I spoke with Eaton about being a British or American writer, coming-of-age novels, and whether or not she was a Divine via phone.

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David Hopen came of age with his coming-of-age debut

David Hopen came of age with his coming-of-age debut

David Hopen‘s debut coming-of-age book The Orchard is about an Orthodox Jewish student whose life is transformed when he arrives at a new school. The book follows students on the verge of adulthood and is in part based on a Jewish myth. The book itself took Hopen nearly his entire twenties after he started it while he was the characters’ ages.

I spoke to Hopen about how he grew up along with his book and how it may or may not have changed as he grew further and further away from the age he was writing about.

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Sanaë Lemoine on France, teenagers, and creating The Margot Affair

Sanaë Lemoine on France, teenagers, and creating The Margot Affair

Sanaë Lemoine has lived all over the globe. When she was creating The Margot Affair, a specific time and place kept calling to her. Thus, Margot was born as a seventeen year old living in Paris.

Margot is on the cusp of adulthood when she decides to change the course of her own life, and as a result changes the trajectory of all of her relatives’ lives. When she reveals she is the secret daughter of a politician and a famous actress, her secret world is unspooled and readers get to watch as the wall of lies built up around her comes tumbling down.

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C Pam Zhang struck Gold with her debut novel

C Pam Zhang struck Gold with her debut novel

C Pam Zhang explores immigration in How Much of These Hills Is Gold, a coming-of-age story of two newly orphaned siblings set during the Gold Rush. It takes bits and pieces of topics you might be familiar with, but stretches those ideas in new ways. The book explores family secrets and young ambition in the face of desperation.

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M. Randal O’Wain reveals the raw and honest truth of the South in ‘Meander Belt’

M. Randal O’Wain reveals the raw and honest truth of the South in ‘Meander Belt’

The essays in M. Randal O’Wains debut memoir, Meander Belt, tap into what life was truly like growing up in the rural South. Subtitled “Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working Class South,” the book is a raw and intimate portrayal of an area often at the mercy of stereotypes or often altogether left out of media portrayals.

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Karen Raney on crafting the characters in her coming-of-age debut ‘All the Water in the World’

Karen Raney on crafting the characters in her coming-of-age debut ‘All the Water in the World’

The characters that inhabit All the Water in the World, the debut novel from Karen Raney, are like tapping into the third season of your favorite television series. They’re all incredibly rounded and grounded.

In the midst of dealing with her relationship with her mother, learning to love for the first time, and all of the pains of being 16-years-old, Maddy is also diagnosed with cancer. Told between alternating chapters from Maddy and then her mother’s perspective, the story is equally heartwarming and heartbreaking.

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