The Girls – Emma Cline

Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat.

Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls.

And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.

Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever? – Goodreads.com

I received this book free from the publisher via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

The Girls is reminiscent of the Charles Manson murders. Young, self-centered hippies in the midst of a cult who commit horrible atrocities.

I haven’t previously read any true crime or vaguely based novels on this particular cult/crime spree but this is one that always really hits me in the feels. Every murder is tragic of course, and inexcusable, but for some reason out of all the true crime cases I’m aware of – it’s this one that always gets me. Always.

I re-read the blurb before starting this novel which was probably a good idea since I’d forgotten what the novel was about and assumed it was simply a coming-of-age story starring an unpopular girl who’s looking up to the popular crowd. I guess that’s still a part of it but it’s only a small aspect.

The prose is absolutely beautiful and the realness, absurdness and the crassness or the characters pulls you in immediately. Everything is on display.

This novel is what I would call real literature and I urge you to take the time and effort to read and enjoy this confronting text.

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One thought on “The Girls – Emma Cline

  1. I will pick this up next time. I have been interested in The Girls since first stumbling across the synopsis some time ago. I have always been fascinated with the history of cults. I started seeing some very less than stellar reviews though. Thank you for the great review. I am excited for this again!

    Liked by 1 person

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