The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls

By Emma Cline

  • Publication Date: 2016-06-14
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
4 Score: 4 (From 1,129 Ratings)

Book Summary

THE INSTANT BESTSELLER • An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong

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 • Emma Cline—One of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists

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

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Book Opinions

  • Not for me

    By Jesy g l
    Didn’t like the writing or the story. I don’t understand why it got so many positive reviews
  • Cult movement in 1969

    By Annmric8
    The Girls was about a cult movement run by a man named Russell in 1969. For about two years Russel began collecting followers preaching about love and political truths. Evie’s character was in thrall by Suzanne, a girl not much older than herself. She was envious of Suzanne, her ability to be unbothered by what others thought of her. Unlike Evie who was raised a good girl to be polite and well mannered. These girls were expressive and disorderly. Evie’s parents were divorced. Her mother busy dating allowing Evie freedom to spend her summer with her friend. Her relationship with her mother was strained. Evie wanted attention, recognition, love, and comfort, but her mother was too focused on dating. At fourteen, Evie was evolving from childhood into adulthood. During one summer before boarding school, she experimented with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Evie had issues with trying to find herself thereby relying on observing the behaviors of other girls. She adapted to their behaviors mimicking the things she felt she needed to. The Girls was character driven and written from Evie’s perspective. This was a coming of age story about Evie and several other girls. This was Evie’s recounting of events that took place before Russell was discovered. The pace was slow with Evie recounting the times she visited with Suzanne. It was a tiresome read of which I grew bored so I began skimming. One word continued to plague my mind while Evie was recounting her childhood which was latchkey kids. All too often kids were left to their own demises. This story was a recapping of those households that failed to provide a safe haven of love. I must heed a warning about this book by mentioning that there were some scenes that included sex with minors as well as sexual molestation. The story was executed into four parts sharing Evie’s childhood summer. The past was marked by the year 1969, the only indication Evie was talking about the past. I kept waiting for some brilliant discovery instead I felt the ending was anti-climatic.
  • Impossible to put down

    By JoeyWar[S.E.M.]
    Great writer! Reads like non fiction. The pictures painted with words: sad, beautiful, and sometimes horrifying Captivating read!
  • Falls flat.

    By Nickipil
    I really wanted to like this book. I couldn't get into it like I usually do. It never became one of those books I couldn't put down, even near the climax. The author is descriptive and can set a scene, but fairly uninteresting scenes just go on and on, over and over. It doesn't take long to figure out that this story is fairly spot on for the story of Charles Manson and family. Knowing this, nothing is imaginative or surprising. Plot lines that could bring some excitement fall flat. Evie is boring and doesn't seem to have much of a real personality. I'm not convinced it added to the story to have her adult self represented at all. It would have been much more interesting from almost any other character's point of view.
  • Just read it❤❤

    By Haleylanae
    Loved this book.
  • a look into human nature

    By Toni FGMAMTC
    I can see how many won't like this book, but I found it interesting. It sort of rambles and bit and talks around what happened instead of about it as much. It's more inside the lead's head than showing these horrible facts that many may be looking to find in a story of a cult that commits murder. It's a think piece. She seems like so many other teens. Many are looking to find their place. They want to reject the things happening around them and find their people. They're so vulnerable and form attachments so easily. Even though she doesn't actually participate in the actual murders, she can't say that she wouldn't have, and she doesn't hate the ones that did. And now as an adult, she sees teens in just the same spot mentally that she was. It's just interesting to me how the average can turn into horrific.
  • Captivating

    By 00grey00
    The imagery, descriptions, and analogies are so well done that I can feel how she feels and see what she sees. It was a captivating book from cover to cover.
  • Short and Anticlimactic

    By Melissssssssa
    Enjoyed the style of writing however I felt l was waiting for something to happen the entire time.
  • Well,

    By Adelezcoeur
    I absolutely loved the book until I got into its finally chapters. They were very bland to say the least. The ending was very boring and didn't leave me wanting more and that saddens me. Because that's what I love most in a good book!
  • Gross...

    By Julieatwork
    I would have liked the book more if it had gone more into the backgrounds of these "girls." Also the depiction of the young child's murder was completely unnecessary, disturbing and distracting. Anyone who has raised a young child (most people) would find this in poor taste, especially as it doesn't serve any function in the story. I've read several accounts of the Manson murders far more compelling and interesting.