The Girls by Emma Cline

Pages: 355
Genre: Fiction
Read: March 2017
Rating: 9/10

Adjectives To Describe This Book: Seductive, Shocking, Brilliant

Read If You Are: Just read it! But it’s for adults. Kids should ideally not read it just yet.

You know when you hear so much about something that when you finally get to it, you shrug, think to yourself – ‘meh’ and then just get on with it – not really expecting too much? That’s what I felt when I started this book. And I was blown away with the first page.

The story is loosely based on the Charles Manson Family and the murders that took place in 1969. The story is told by Evie Boyd, now a shadow of the girl she used to be, house sitting and not really going anywhere in her life. She finds herself reminiscing about her time with the cult.

The story is heart breaking. You’d think they are just angsty teenage monologues, but they are the most vulnerable inner monologues. Monologues, that you may have also had but just never admitted to anyone (or even yourself) that you did. The anger and humiliation Evie felt towards her mom, the nonchalant attitude she had towards her dad’s cheating ways, the inner turmoil she went through because she wanted to please Suzanne, the passionate love she felt, the fierce feeling of needing to belong – these emotions initially shock you but then you understood them. Why? Because it was so humane, so natural.

What I really enjoyed about the book was how the characters had multiple dimensions to them – the ‘good’ had some bad and the ‘bad’ had some good. I loved that you could feel the palpable inner turmoil of pretty much every character. The narrative led you to understand the emotions behind the actions.

Emma Cline, the author, is someone I’m definitely going to look out for. Her writing was flawless and profound. Her ability to set a scene was on point. Most of the times I felt like I had to pause to take in what she was trying to say and make it stay in my head.

As Lena Dunham very aptly says, “This book will break your heart and blow your mind.’ And that’s exactly what happened. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Favourite Quotes:

“Poor girls. The world fattens them on the promise of love. How badly they need it, and how little most of them will ever get.”

“Life a continuous backing away from the edge.”

“The silences between us would’ve been better if they were colored with sadness or regret, but it was worse – I could hear how happy he was to be gone.”

“That was part of being a girl–you were resigned to whatever feedback you’d get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn’t react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they’d backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.”

“That was the strange thing – I didn’t hate my father. He had wanted something. Like I wanted Suzanne. Or my mother wanted Frank. You wanted things and you couldn’t help it, because there was only your life, only yourself to wake up with, and how could you ever tell yourself what you wanted was wrong?”  

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