Weekend Reads: The Girls

The Girls, Emma Cline

© Random House

I’ve always been a huge fan of atmospheric, spellbinding, disquieting novels that leave you feeling like you need to sit in the sun after you’ve finished them. Books like Gone Girl and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, and The Likeness by Tana French. For me, Emma Cline’s novel, The Girls, gives those books a run for their money. The Girls is wonderfully strange and often horrifying, hindered only by Emma Cline’s use of often overly flamboyant prose.

If the book’s cover isn’t enough of a hint, The Girls is heavily influenced by Charles Manson’s presence in California during the 1960s. Emma Cline has masterfully captured the Manson Cult and cleverly goes so far as to rename key players such as Sharon Tate, Dennis Wilson so that The Girls feels at once fresh and familiar. It’s at the end of the 1960s that bored, lonely teenage protagonist, Evie Boyd, is mesmerized by Suzanne, an older girl and member of the aforementioned  cult. Soon Evie is drawn to their sprawling, run down ranch that is hidden in the hills and the charismatic man in charge there. But as Evie spends more and more time with Suzanne her infatuation intensifies, and she becomes closer and closer to an unspeakable violence that will change her life forever.

Weekend Reads is a Friday column of The Nerd League featuring nuggets of wisdom on the literary world. Our in-house galley virtuoso tends to have the scoop on stuff before it’s even out. To keep up with this week’s pick click here

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