Publication Date: 2nd June from Randomhouse Uk, Vintage publishing.
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?
The Girls is a haunting and evocative read, beautifully written to capture both a sense of time and place and subtle nuances of character – I really enjoyed this one, it was one of those novels that gets all the senses working, an absorbing and intriguing read that really caught my imagination.
Evie is a strangely compelling character – I can’t say I liked her that much, but I was involved in her journey. As she and her best friend grow apart, she becomes obsessed with a group of seemingly free spirited girls, Suzanne in particular and so gets caught up with a cult – although of course she doesnt see it that way. It was never going to end well, but Emma Cline leads you through that world with a deft touch and an engaging style that makes it a real page turner.
The Girls is one of those novels that when I review it I do not want to give too much away because the sense of it has to be taken individually – what I took from it the next reader will not. It is the story of a very personal journey, a coming of age tale that looks both at female friendship, obsession and the subtle manipulation of enigmatic charismatic men . Both clever and fascinating, these girls will stay with you.
The Girls totally consumed me during the reading of it – for that reason it gets a Highly Recommended tag from me.
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