This is the novel I had pegged for book of the summer last year, but now with its release in paperback and position as Waterstones’ Fiction Book of the Month for May, I think its place may be Summer 2017 instead.
From the moment Emma sat at the Vintage publishing event I attended and began to read from the first pages, I knew I was going to love it.
How does a girl find herself involved with a cult?
Emma Cline’s first novel follows teenage Evie, who is drawn into the world of a cult in California in 1969, in an almost retelling of the Manson Family massacres. This is less about the beautiful sociopath who leads the cult; more about who is drawn to it, and why. The Girls is told in flashbacks, interspersed with present day Evie still struggling to know who she is, how she got caught up in the cult and how close she was to death.
The Girls is about the juxtaposition of beauty and dirt, about the people drawn to the charming dangerous leaders. Cline’s prose swells with summer and rot, hope and devastation. Her style clear, she shuns the comma in favour of short loosely connected sentences that create tension within her observations. It’s really an astounding thing that lingers in your mind.
Interested? Get it here.
What to read next:
- Paulina and Fran by Rachel B Glaser
- Seed by Lisa Heathfield
- Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin (if you are interested in other cult retellings about people on the outside)
Thank you to Chatto & Windus and Vintage Books for sharing a review copy with me.