The Girls is a stunning retelling of the Charles Manson murders by first-time novelist Emma Cline. It's a work of fiction, but one that relies heavily on the history of Charles Manson and his horrifying power over young women. Told from the point of view of Evie, a young girl who falls in with a group of reckless nomads led by a "genius" named Russell in 1969 Bay Area. Evie falls in love with one of Russell's protgs, Suzanne, and she's lured into life at "the ranch" - where Russell teaches free love and fruitlessly tries to get a record deal from fictional music star Mitch Lewis (based loosely on Dennis Wilson, Beach Boys frontman). The book centers around the events of one night where Russell's girls do his horrifying bidding, which is hinted at bit by bit throughout the book, leaving you just unsure enough until the end about what actually occurred. But at its heart, the book is about being a girl - learning how to deal with attention, wanted and otherwise, and realizing what you might be capable of in a world that doesn't often expect much from you. It's a terrifying read at times, but one that is so well-written you have to complete it.
THE INSTANT BESTSELLER - An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 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 "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