Monday, 31 July 2017

The Girls

The Girls by Emma Cline
Published by Vintage Books
May 2017

If you’re lost, they’ll find you…Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed. It’s the summer of 1969 and restless, empty days stretch ahead of her. Until she sees them. The girls. Hair long and uncombed, jewelry catching the sun. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful.  If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone. But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where they live.

Was there a warning? A sign of what was coming? Or did Evie know already that there was no way back?

Loosely based on the killings in 1969 by Charles Manson and his group of followers, Emma Cline's novel shows just how easy it can be to fall into a cult setting such as the one Manson created.  Evie Boyd has a mother who is more interested in her new boyfriend than in Evie herself, so it is easy for her to say she is staying at best friend Connie's house when in fact she isn't.  Evie meets Suzanne in a local store and is drawn in by her beauty and state of apparent bohemia.  This girl is not like her or Connie, and Evie is immediately drawn to her.  Suzanne takes her 'home' to meet Russell, and the other people she lives with.  What occurs there is seedy and uncomfortable but Evie is strangely drawn to being there amongst them. 

The book weaves through that extraordinary summer and now in the present day, as 50-something Evie recollects whether she could have prevented the tragic events that occurred, or whether in fact she had been protected by Suzanne all along. 

I can see why the book has been so raved about.  I liked it, but I didn't love it but I think it's a personal choice.  I certainly would say to read this though as it is both dark but intoxicating at the same time, and an eye opener to the world for some of the summer of 1969.

Happy Reading

Miss Chapters x

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