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The Girls
by Emma Cline


Overview - THE INSTANT BESTSELLER - An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post - NPR - The Guardian - Entertainment Weekly - San Francisco Chronicle - Financial Times - Esquire - Newsweek - Vogue - Glamour - People - The Huffington Post - Elle - Harper's Bazaar - Time Out - BookPage - Publishers Weekly - Slate
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s.
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More About The Girls by Emma Cline
 
 
 
Overview
THE INSTANT BESTSELLER - An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Washington Post - NPR - The Guardian - Entertainment Weekly - San Francisco Chronicle - Financial Times - Esquire - Newsweek - Vogue - Glamour - People - The Huffington Post - Elle - Harper's Bazaar - Time Out - BookPage - Publishers Weekly - Slate
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.
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize - Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award - Shortlisted for The Center for Fiction First Novel Prize - The New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Praise for The Girls
"Emma Cline has an unparalleled eye for the intricacies of girlhood, turning the stuff of myth into something altogether more intimate."--Lena Dunham
"Spellbinding . . . a seductive and arresting coming-of-age story."--The New York Times Book Review
"Extraordinary . . . Debut novels like this are rare, indeed."--The Washington Post
"Hypnotic."--The Wall Street Journal
"Gorgeous."--Los Angeles Times
"Savage."--The Guardian
"Astonishing."--The Boston Globe
"Superbly written."--James Wood, The New Yorker
"Intensely consuming."--Richard Ford
"A spectacular achievement."--Lucy Atkins, The Times
"Thrilling."--Jennifer Egan
"Compelling and startling."--The Economist
"Elegant and nostalgic."--Julie Beck, The Atlantic
"Masterful . . . In the cult dynamic, Cline has seen something universal--emotions, appetites, and regular human needs warped way out of proportion--and in her novel she's converted a quintessentially '60s story into something timeless."--Christian Lorentzen, New York

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780812998603
  • ISBN-10: 081299860X
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 368
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Psychological

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-02-15
  • Reviewer: Staff

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. Agent: Bill Clegg, the Clegg Agency. (June)

 
BookPage Reviews

A bewitching story of a 1960s summer

The Girls, Emma Cline’s debut novel, is an exploration of the precariousness of being a teenage girl and the perils of craving acceptance. The 1960s are waning, and Evie Boyd has been carelessly disposed of by her childhood best friend, just as the onset of high school looms. Her parents’ divorce has Evie seeking solace elsewhere, far from her mother’s recently acquired new-age practices and boyfriend. She is also distanced from her father, now residing with his much younger assistant. One lonely afternoon, Evie encounters a group of fascinating strangers at the park: the girls.

Evie is smitten by Suzanne, a disarmingly ethereal yet tough queen bee, and drawn into the world of the ranch she lives on. At its heart is the cult leader, Russell, who collects people as easily as a child collects bugs. Bewitching men and women alike, he oozes a sense of entitlement, a posture that infuses into every interaction that the group has with the outside world. Evie senses danger but becomes entangled regardless, her intense desire for Suzanne leading to the novel’s inevitable, violent conclusion. 

Cline has created a perfect slow burner of a story. Her writing is languid and astute, and the rapport she establishes with her audience is like a cat courting a mouse that it plans to consume. A dual narrative chronicles the account of the summer on the ranch and Evie’s present-day life, and Cline keeps the reader engaged by teasing the details until the tragedy in question takes a starring role at the last moment. If you enjoyed Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, The Girls is your next pick. 

 

This article was originally published in the June 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews