A fictional account of a grim and all-too-real episode in
American history, Emma Cline’s The Girls
is a compulsive read. Even I, the slowest of slow readers, breezed through it
(much to my own surprise and delight). But what blindsided me about this book
is how accurately — and I mean painfully
so — Cline captures the feeling of being a teenage girl. If you are, have ever been,
or even just know one, I think you’ll
agree that’s no small feat, and will be amazed at Cline’s mastery of it. This
book deserves every bit of buzz it’s generated and more. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
An intoxicating read with stunning writing. Evie's pensive thoughts and bold moves lead her down a dangerous path. Chilling and haunting! Recommended By Adrienne C., Powells.com
A deliciously creepy nod to the young women involved in the Manson murders, The Girls is edge-of-your-seat reading. Cline has mastered both the cluelessness of cult worship, as well as the extreme closeness and ruthless competition that young women often find together. Extremely well done, this novel will be everywhere this summer, and rightly so — don't miss it! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Debut author Cline takes the bones of the infamous Manson cult murders and uses the altered details to frame the story of teenager Evie Boyd. While I found the story compelling on several levels, the profound insights on a young woman's interior life proved to be what drew me in. This is a great read on so many levels. Recommended By Kathi K., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong—this stunning first novel is perfect for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction.
"The Girls is an extraordinary act of restraint. With the maturity of a writer twice her age, Cline has written a wise novel that’s never showy: a quiet, seething confession of yearning and terror…. Debut novels like this are rare, indeed." The Washington Post
"Finely intelligent, often superbly written, with flashingly brilliant sentences.At her frequent best, Cline sees the world exactly and generously. On every other page, it seems, there is something remarkable—an immaculate phrase, a boldly modifying adverb, a metaphor or simile that makes a sudden, electric connection between its poles….Much of this has to do with Cline’s ability to look again, like a painter, and see (or sense) things better than most of us do." The New Yorker
"I don’t know which is more amazing, Emma Cline’s understanding of human beings or her mastery of language." Mark Haddon, New York Times bestselling author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
"Emma Cline’s first novel positively hums with fresh, startling, luminous prose. The Girls announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American fiction." Jennifer Egan
"Emma Cline has an unparalleled eye for the intricacies of girlhood, turning the stuff of myth into something altogether more intimate. She reminds us that behind so many of our culture’s fables exists a girl: unseen, unheard, angry. This book will break your heart and blow your mind." Lena Dunham
About the Author
Emma Cline is from California. Her fiction has appeared in Tin House and The Paris Review, and she was the recipient of the 2014 Paris Review Plimpton Prize.