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The Girls (2016)

by Emma Cline

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,5022234,320 (3.56)77
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.… (more)
  1. 10
    Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt (KatyBee)
  2. 00
    A Fatal Inversion by Barbara Vine (shaunie)
    shaunie: Similar doom-laden atmosphere with something horrible about to happen in the summer heat - but whilst Cline's book is this year's must-read Vine's book is far more tense and exciting.
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» See also 77 mentions

English (212)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (221)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
Audiobook read by Cady McClain.

From the book jacket: 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.

My reactions
I vividly remember the Manson murders of Sharon Tate et al. I followed the news coverage and could not imagine how these people became so enthralled and obedient to the obviously crazy Charles Manson. Cline’s Evie gives me some insight into how that might have happened.

But I cannot bring myself to rate the book even with three stars. The subject was so distasteful to me. I cringed at how Evie is drawn in, at how she was abused, at how she “begged” for the abuse because she was so hungry for attention and for what she thought was evidence of love. I could hardly bear to keep listening, but persevered because so many people I know had rated this debut highly. At the end I felt I had wasted my time, as these characters wasted their futures.

Cady McClain did a good job narrating the audiobook. She really brings Evie to life, and she was equally believable voicing the slimy cult leader, or Evie’s mother. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 22, 2021 |
Very good, although I think Cline has certain authorial tics that were starting to drive me a little crazy by the end. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
Very enjoyable/awkward/creepy read; really paints a picture of a the experience of being a young woman at a certain time and place, a mix of the extraordinary and banal; the denouement/epilogue (maybe the last 10%) was outstanding and really paid off the whole book. ( )
  steveportigal | Dec 31, 2020 |
I'm not sure whether I liked this book. I know I don't dislike it it, it just... Maybe this book confronted me with things I didn't wanted to be confronted with.
I loved how much the bok made me feel, I suppose I just didn't like what it made me feel.
On the other hand, I did abandon all my other reading to finish this book in the few reading-moments I had the last few days.
It was definately an interesting read. ( )
  HeyMimi | Dec 28, 2020 |
Interesting view point from a young, insecure girl seduced into cults. Written from the point of view of the now adult female who flowed in and out a "cult" similar to Charles Manson. ( )
  3CatMom | Dec 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
The Girls works a well-tapped vein in literary fiction: the queasy exploration of how young women with crippled egos can become accessories to their own degradation. Joyce Carol Oates and Mary Gaitskill are masters of this theme. Cline’s contribution is a heady evocation of the boredom and isolation of adolescence in pre-internet suburbia, in houses deserted by their restless, doubt-stricken adult proprietors where “the air was candied with silence.” The novel is heavy with figurative language; Cline has a telling fondness for the word “humid.” Not all of this comes off effectively (Evie’s mom makes Chinese ribs that “had a glandular sheen, like a lacquer”), but most of it does (Evie, dazzled by her father’s girlfriend, thinks she has a life “like a TV show about summer.”)
added by Nickelini | editSlate, Laura Miller (Jun 7, 2016)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Emma Clineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cosgrove, LizDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McClain, CadyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mendelsund, PeterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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I looked up because of the laughter, and kept looking because of the girls.
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The sun spiked through the trees, like always—the drowsy willows, the hot wind gusting over the picnic blankets—but the familiarity of the day was disturbed by the path the girls cut across the regular world. Sleek and thoughtless as sharks breaching the water.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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.

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