from The Essential Paradise, series sourcebook
According to Janine’s narration in the series, there are six members of the group: Anne Bond, Barbie French, Janine Hewlett, Ava Kane, Stephanie Maber, and Jill Manning. Whilst not an organised club, the group associate with a degree of exclusivity, being nearly all the girls of the same form from Devon Township Elementary School and now at North Eden High School (NEHS) who live in central Devon Township, in the neighbourhood known as Holiday Park, which is framed by Woodside Lane, Marlette Street, Hillside Road and Holiday Lane.
Common circumstances Edit
All six come from families of two parents and with other siblings. All have fathers making the sole or principal income for the household, and though Anne’s father, a police officer, is probably the least wealthy and Ava’s father, a fine jeweller, is certainly the wealthiest, they are all solidly within the middle class.
All were born at Mercy Hospital in Hurricane Hole (though this is where most from Eden Island are born), to mothers who were also born in the territory.
All six attended Devon Township Elementary School through 4th form, each typically having walked to and from school with one or more of the others, which is the basis for their early association and continued friendship.
Being all in the same form, slated to take their O-levels in 2004, they are all roughly the same age, with Ava, born on 29 December, the eldest and Janine, born on 19 June, the youngest.
All are strong students, with Ava receiving the highest marks, and Jill or Anne receiving the lowest; but all are within the 85-100-percentile range as a rule.
Their mothers all associate with each other, if not at church than as neighbours, frequently talking on the phone or chatting in the markets.
Though Mrs Kane was most cautious at first, all of them, since becoming acquainted in early elementary, have always been comfortable with visiting each other with no advance notice and welcomed in each other’s houses at any time and for any duration. More than any other, this factor has bonded all six girls to each other.
They frequently share and swap clothing and know all each other’s sizes for when shopping for gifts.
None of them has ever held a grudge against nor even argued with any of the others. They all share great affection and admiration for each other and all get on together like angels; as Janine says, any two of them would make a happy duo in doing just about anything.
All are friendly with other girls of other neighbourhoods and townships, especially those they know from school, demonstrating that the Devon girls' society is not exclusionary to either themselves or others.
All are, at some time during their years at NEHS, involved in student government and in extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs. All are well-known and well-liked by teachers and others at school and in the community.
None has any idea of what her future plans may be, either for after 5th form or for after college, which all six of them say they mean to attend in the territory.
Differing circumstances Edit
Janine and Anne are the only ones with younger siblings. The others are all youngest of their respective households; none is an only child. Stephanie and Jill take German for the NEHS requirement for a second language, as they have Austrian heritage; though Ava’s family are Austrian, she and the rest are taking French.
Jill, Janine and Anne are the ones most likely to land in detention, typically for talking in class, arriving late, or neglecting homework. Barbie was in detention once, in first form; Stephanie and Ava have never been.
Ava’s family are Jewish, a fact which, though leaving her out of most Christmas, Easter, and Valentines’ celebrations, as well as the confirmation class all the other girls share, is otherwise no bar to their continued association. All five Anglican girls attended Ava’s bat mitzvah (Boxing Day 2000) at Beth Torah, Hurricane Hole, and she attends their Confirmation (on Easter Saturday 2001) at St Peter’s in Devon.
Ava is typically not permitted to attend sleepovers, though aside from that she spends as much time at Jill’s and Barbie’s houses (closest to her own) as do any of the others. All of the others have slept over each other’s houses; each has hosted one or all of the others at her home.
Anne’s father is Australian by birth and, despite serving as a Devon Township police officer, does not have belonger status. He is also the only Roman Catholic amongst the girls’ parents (though he does not practice routinely and Anne is baptised and confirmed Anglican).
In second form, Anne and Stephanie are shortest, at about 155 cm. Ava is tallest, at about 167 cm. The others are more normally-sized at about 158-160 cm. Perhaps consequently, Ava wears the largest shoes, Anne the smallest.
Janine is the one with the most precociously-developed figure, though she would be so in any group of girls at the same age. Barbie is bustier than any of the other four, who consistently regard her as having a 'perfect bikini body’. Anne is nearly flatchested; the others fall in between.
Ava nearly never suns at the beach, as her parents consider most bathing attire too promiscuous; nevertheless Ava has attended various swimming activities, usually in a sleek one-piece swimsuit that indeed flatters her long, slender shape. She is however the least suntanned, with Anne and Stephanie-- the two most likely to sun topless-- the most darkly-tanned.
Also Ava does not engage in private attire, being typically well-dressed to a standard of a much more mature woman at all times. Due to her precocious development, Janine is next likeliest to be comprehensively, and tastefully, attired. Of the others, Anne is most likely to play or sunbathe topless, with Stephanie being next and Jill and Barbie typically following the majority (which, with Ava not participating, usually means shedding tops as Anne and Stephanie will more readily do).
As of Festival 2001, none of the others is dating anyone steadily except for Janine, who has Charlie. Ava’s parents have insisted that she complete college (in the BPI, a two-year course) before she may date.
As of July 2001-- indeed as of her wedding, in June 2003-- Janine is the only one no longer a virgin. One-by-one the others come to be aware of this; though they are uncomfortable with the knowledge at first they all attribute it to Janine’s greater social maturity and commend her to her own judgement, which none of them has ever found wanting in anything else.
Janine, Jill and Anne yield their virginity before marriage; Stephanie, Barbie and Ava do not. All marry before attaining age 20 yrs (within normal bounds for middle-class Paradisian girls) except for Anne, who remains unmarried till aged 26 yrs. Janine, by a margin considered wide by any standard, is first to marry, aged 15 yrs.
Anne, Barbie, Janine and Stephanie all live in attractive, faux-Tudor tract houses built in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Post Brothers Builders. Known as Holiday Park, this was one of the developments which Paul Cavaliere, Jonathan Cavaliere and David Holloway moved to curtail, eventually fostering the Development Codes, after the ratification of which the Post brothers moved out of the territory and returned to building in Australia.
Built of concrete block with stucco, the houses came in four models: the four-bedroom Shell (Barbie’s; largest model), the four-bedroom Treat (Janine’s and Stephanie’s), the three-bedroom Palm, and the three-bedroom Opal (Anne’s; smallest model). All are two storeys but the Opal, which is 1-1/2 storeys. Each is built on a 18-m [60-ft] section and has two full bathrooms, two eating areas, a separate den, indoor washroom, fireplace, attached garage, landscaped lawn and French windows facing the verandah and rear garden. None have basements.
Jill and Ava live in Holiday Lane, with Jill’s family in a narrow two-storey house built as part of a later development, permitted to continue under the Development Codes as land sections were smaller (12 m; 40 ft). There were two models, both essentially the same plan but one turned sideways to face the long side of the section, such as on a corner. These were smaller and less expensive than the Holiday Park models. Ava’s family live in an older, rambling house in the popular castle style, having a 5-m-square three-storey tower in front, steep tiled rooves, double garage and similar-sized front parlour and rear family room, located on a sloping section at the corner of Holiday and Hillside.
The Bonds and the Mabers have each added a screened-in verandah room across the back of the house, providing plenty of shady living space for outdoor-based events, such as Anne’s and Stephanie’s birthday parties, as seen in Janine’s Best Impressions and The Sins of Saint Janine, respectively.
In addition Edit
Jill’s sister Alicia has dated Charlie Richardson, albeit only casually. Ava’s brother Albert is a close friend of Charlie.
Ginnie Petter was an original Devon Girl, before they all referred to themselves that way. Her family moved to Long Shore Road in Surfside at the end of their elementary 3rd form, around the time that Janine and Jill began jokingly considering themselves as being a sort of social organisation. To Janine and Anne, and to a lesser degree to the others, Ginnie remains a sort of honourary member, though she socialises much less with them now than when she lived in Holiday Lane.
The girls tend to regard ‘Sweet’ Clarice Howe as an associate member, both to encourage her to socialise happily with friends who love her and because they enjoy her company, though Clarice seems noncommittal about accepting the honour. Clarice is closest to Ava, whose family are also pro-Labour. Of the others’ parents or families, all are Conservative except for Anne’s; Anne herself seems to prefer Toryism, perhaps only due to the example of Janine, whom she rather worships.
Ava, the eldest, counsels Janine, the youngest, about her first menstrual-period experience in Janine’s Growing Pains. Later in the year Janine will similarly counsel both Anne and Stephanie upon their first periods.
Janine and Stephanie share a bed, both naked, in The Sins of Saint Janine. This is not unusual amongst girls in Paradise, especially not for these, who in some ways have known each other closer than sisters might have. Anne and Barbie share the sofabed during the same night, albeit nominally clothed.
Appearances in the stories Edit
The individual Devon Girls make numerous appearances throughout the Janine, of Paradise story arc. All six are seen together most frequently during parties and major social occasions; but as Ava is not permitted to attend dances at school, the other five appear most often at such events.
See also Edit
- Bond, Anne
- French, Barbie
- Hewlett, Janine
- Kane, Ava
- Maber, Stephanie
- Manning, Jill
- Petter, Ginnie
- North Eden High School, Eden Island
- Janine, of Paradise, story arc
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