This week’s staff pick is one of the most talked about debuts of the summer. The Girls by Emma Cline is the story of Evie Boyd, a teenager in the late 1960’s who becomes obsessed with the inhabitants of a nearby ranch and their charismatic leader Russell. Although inspired by the Manson Family (and the story does take a dark and violent turn), the main focus is Evie and her relationship with Suzanne, the wild and assured older girl who draws her into the ranch. Northern California in 1969 really comes alive with Cline’s atmospheric writing. A fascinating coming-of-age tale about girls and their desperate desire to belong.
“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.” — Amazon