The Girls Review

Review by Joshua W.

Evie Boyd has an absent father and a mother who is much more concerned with finding her next husband than raising her daughter. Evie is constantly measuring herself against everyone else and often believes that she comes up short. In the summer of 1969, she sees “the girls” and becomes obsessed with them, especially Suzanne, an older woman who she begins to idolize. They are free, live life with abandon, and are everything she wants to be. She continues to “run into them” until she is invited to their commune to meet their charismatic leader. She is drawn into this place where she is desperate to be accepted, but this need for acceptance makes it impossible for her to see the impending violence and disaster she is headed towards. 

Cline seamlessly narrates between an older Evie of the present looking back upon her experiences and the impact that the events of her youth had upon her life and a younger Evie who is desperate to belong somewhere. Based on the Manson Cult, many readers will see where the story is headed. I was impressed by Cline’s ability to maintain suspense despite this. Seeing the impending disaster and violence that Evie was hurtling towards left a knot in my stomach throughout the book. That knot was only intensified by her own youthful ignorance of what was happening around her. The Girls will enthrall anyone who is a fan of historical fiction, suspense, and coming-of-age stories. 

Find The Girls by Emma Cline at one of our branches.