Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960’s. 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.
Rating: 5 stars
The Girls by Emma Cline…is indeed a sensational hit. From the first page readers like myself are hit with a strong intensity to know what’s to come of the girls. Including the one that is telling readers about them. Curiosity prickling my mind. The main character, Evie Boyd, makes the girls she sees like an exotic painting that to others can be too bold while other would stare at it with an awe. Evie Boyd is in held in awe of the girls. Something deep lured her straight to them. An imaginary magnet that constantly pulled her to them. So many real life issues were woven into this story. An average girl failing her parents. No raw talents. No exotic beauty. Plain, short, and simple. Parents divorced. Neither seems to notice their daughter and when they do, she’s only a disappointment to them. Sensing that doesn’t help a person achieve anything. A father with a younger woman who came back wearing the lipstick that belonged to Evie’s mom. A mother going through changes so rapidly that her daughter hardly knew what her mom did when not around her. Then the group of girls that belonged to a cult…were like air that Evie so desperately needed. They caught her attention and dragged her into a world sadder than the one she already knew.
Emma Cline’s writing is superb. It transferred me straight into the life of Evie Boyd. Everything that happened to her felt like I was her. The emotional toll is deep. A thought provoking novel that silently sends messages to its readers. What not to do and how time can go by faster than people thought. Realistic portrayals of life’s issues with the family and teens is strongly evident here. Growing up…like Evie Boyd did…was like growing up alone. Isolation instantly felt and brought on by her parents. Her lack of abilities and plainness drew Evie into a world none of hope to find. The sighting of the girls brought her mind swirling with more questions than answers. The way the girls presented themselves drew Evie’s divine attention. But like the saying goes…curiosity kills the cat…so too, will Evie’s curiosity plunge her into a darker world. I loved reading every moment of this coming of age story. The Girls by Emma Cline overall, is a must read for all. Once readers read this book, there’s no turning back. I highly recommend it to all.