The Girls is definitely the “it” book of the summer. Everyone’s talking about it. Rumor has it the debut author got a $2 million advance. It’s edgy and risqué and unapologetic.
Maybe the hype killed it for other people. And maybe their dislike of it saved me from going in with high expectations. Because I ended up really enjoying this one.
The writing is superb. There’s no doubt that Emma Cline can set a scene really well. And the narration has a self-reflective quality to it that I really enjoy in first person stories.
Perhaps all that beautiful prose hangs on a pretty thin plot, ripped right out of the headlines of the 1960’s. But it’s compulsively readable, engaging and ultimately pretty satisfying.
I loved that this book didn’t focus on the murders, but rather the relationships formed between the girls. Cline did an excellent job of creating believable characters, with a true sense of time and place. For me, it brought back the eerie feelings I felt as a young girl myself, living hours away. Cults were seen as all about love, peace, and living off the land. How did it all go so wrong? This book gave incredible insight into how easily things can spiral out of control.
And fair warning, it has some pretty adult stuff, so I wouldn’t recommend this for younger readers or people who are averse to that kind of content.