Publishing today is one of the most talked about books of the summer: The Girls by Emma Cline. I found this on Net Galley several months ago and it was one of those books that I could NOT put down. Here’s the description:
Girls—their vulnerability, strength, and passion to belong—are at the heart of this stunning first novel for readers of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad.
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, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.
Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. The Girls is a brilliant work of fiction—and an indelible portrait of girls, and of the women they become.
First I have to say that Evie is an unforgettable character – so real and so well-portrayed in this novel, that it almost reads like a memoir. Evie is on the brink of adulthood and her sexuality, and her relationship – almost an obsession actually – with the group of girls surrounding a Mason-like character forms the backbone of this novel. It is disturbing, yet fascinating.
Ms. Cline’s writing is truly superb. This book almost dripped with the perspiration of the summer portrayed within its pages. You could feel the weightiness of the heat and the boredom portrayed within. Everything is so languid that you can hardly believe that it is hurtling towards the climax that is coming.
An amazing debut novel that you will not soon forget, THE GIRLS will continue to be talked about long after this summer is over!
Thank you, Net Galley and Random House, for my e-ARC.