The Girls - Emma Cline

Staff Pick

Emma Cline is only in her twenties and The Girls (Random House, $27) is her first novel, but it’s a very impressive beginning. Set in the Bay Area in the late 1960s, the story centers on a disaffected teenage girl growing up in the exurbs with distracted, self-absorbed, divorced parents. Bored and aimless, she finally achieves a sense of belonging when she’s invited to join a cultish group living on a nearby ranch with a narcissistic male leader. As events unfold, it becomes clear that this fictional account is based on Charles Manson and his followers, with cameos by other recognizable figures of that era. While the Manson story is well known, what makes the book so good is Cline’s uncanny grasp of time and place, and her ability to explore the psychology of a desperate young person who wants to do the right thing but struggles to find her own path. A coming-of-age story that speaks to every generation in both its specificity and universality.

The Girls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812998603
Availability: Backordered
Published: Random House - June 14th, 2016

The Girls: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780812988024
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 9th, 2017

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