A gripping and dark fictionalised account of life inside the Manson family from one of the most exciting young voices in fiction.
If you're lost, they'll find you...
It's the summer of 1969. Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed.
Restless, empty days stretch ahead of her. Until she sees them. The girls. Hair long and uncombed, jewelry catching the sun. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful.
If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone. But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where they live.
Was there a warning? A sign of what was coming? Or did Evie know already that there was no way back?
'Taut, beautiful and savage, Cline's novel demands your attention' Guardian
DON'T MISS EMMA CLINE'S UNFORGETTABLE DEBUT SHORT STORY COLLECTION, DADDY - OUT NOW
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This eerie, provocative trip down memory lane is an absolute stunner. Set in the summer of 1969, Emma Cline’s debut details the terrifying events that forever change protagonist Evie Boyd, a disaffected teenager drawn into a Manson Family–like cult. Cline beautifully captures the emotional turmoil of adolescence, creating a fully human, perfectly flawed protagonist with personality to spare. The young author (she was 25 when the novel was published) is a masterful and assured storyteller.
A middle-aged woman looks back on her experience with a California cult reminiscent of the Manson Family in Cline's provocative, wonderfully written debut. Fourteen years old in the summer of 1969, Evie Boyd enjoys financial privilege and few parental restrictions. Yet she's painfully aware that she is fascinated by girls, awkward with boys, and overlooked by her divorced parents, who are preoccupied with their own relationships. When Evie meets "raunchy and careless" Suzanne Parker, she finds in the 19-year-old grifter an assurance she herself lacks. Suzanne lives at a derelict ranch with the followers of charismatic failed musician Russell Hadrick, who extols selflessness and sexual freedom. Soon, Evie grateful for Russell's attention, the sense of family the group offers, and Suzanne's seductive presence is swept into their chaotic existence. As the mood at the ranch turns dark, her choices become riskier. The novel's title is apt: Cline is especially perceptive about the emulation and competition, the longing and loss, that connect her novel's women and their difficult, sometimes destructive passages to adulthood. Its similarities to the Manson story and crimes notwithstanding, The Girls is less about one night of violence than about the harm we can do, to ourselves and others, in our hunger for belonging and acceptance.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Tremendous First novel
It's hard to believe that writing of this quality comes from the pen of a relatively new author. Emma Cline has a real natural mastery of language and captures a time that feels as real as the events it is based around. The characters she draws are frighteningly real and inveigle their way into your head so much so that you want to google them to find out all their back stories. It is so easy to picture them all. A new writer who you will want to read so much more from. An undeniable Five Star read!