The Girls

Author: Cline, Emma
Title: The Girls
Publisher: New York: Random House, 2016
Available as an audiobook: yes

Set in California in the summer of 1969, The Girls is a story about 14-year-old Evie who is disenchanted with her middle-class life, boys, parents, and friends. Desperately seeking connection, she falls under the influence of Suzanne and is drawn into a Mansonesque-like cult.

This book took me a while to finish. After reading the first few chapters, I put it down for a while, unsure if I would finish it. In the end, I picked it up again, and I’m glad I did because of the topics of American counter-culture, the complexities of female friendships, and how easy it is to make bad decisions when under the influence of someone you admire.

Emma Cline’s decision to have Evie drawn into “the family” by her desire to get closer to Suzanne, as opposed to the leader, was an interesting take on the Manson story, but for someone like me who doesn’t know that much about the Manson story, this just felt like a re-telling from a different angle. It would have also been nice to know the effects that this experience had on the adult Evie who was telling the story.

So do I recommend it? Yes – for a book club because it would definitely generate discussion.

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Emma Cline

Book Review: The Girls

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