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?
"I don't know which is more amazing, Emma Cline's understanding of human beings or her mastery of language." (Mark Haddon)
"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. The Girls destroys our ability to consider violence a foreign territory, and 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)
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Fiona O'Connell on 06-09-2016
Slow slow slow
This book was a struggle to finish. I kept hoping that something would eventually happen ....but nothing did. It was overwritten and overloaded with often bizarre metaphors and similes - probably trying for 'deeply profound' but for me it was just irritating. The author failed to develop the characters into anyone I could possibly care about. So relieved when it finished!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Mark on 05-01-2017
The human side...
I thought this was a wonderful book. However, it is not a thriller, or a study of murder. If you want that get Helter-skelter, which is also wonderful.
This is a coming of age book, which just happens to use the (Fictionalised and renamed) Manson family murders as a narrative device to pull you through the book.
It is really about a mother-daughter relationship and then about female friendship, and then ultimately about first love. It handles all the characters believably and their interactions show genuine insight into the human condition.
There is excellent imagery in nearly every paragraph and the prose keeps the story moving at a nice pace.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes good writing as much as they like a good story.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Hannah on 16-10-2016
Dreamy with quiet, sad dread
Where does The Girls rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
It ranks highly, it's a good book that is well suited to the audiobook format.
What other book might you compare The Girls to, and why?
It feels quite unique but has a shadow of the growing dread and pervading sense of guilt found in We Need To Talk About Kevin.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
The flashback scenes were fascinating but Evie's first encounter with the 'girls' stands out in particular.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Evie and her reflections on her father were particularly poignant.
Any additional comments?
A surprisingly subtle meditation on womanhood, the disappointment of youth and guilt, with an almost incidental but seductive cult story triggering it all.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful