Emma Cline’s, The Girls, is an intimate look at adolescence, the insecurities and loneliness that tag along with it,the decisions we make because of it, and who we become after.
The Girls is the story of Evie Boyd, a middle-aged woman living a now, normal, yet boring life. But her story is anything but. Evie recalls the late 1960s: hippy, drippy, peace, love and violence. At the delicate age of 14, when wanting to be wanted, beautiful and loved was the most important thing in the world. While sitting in a Northern California park, Evie, spots The Girls.
I looked up because of their laughter, and kept looking because of the girls.I noticed their hair first, long and uncombed. Then their jewelry catching the sun. The three of them were far enough away that I saw only the periphery of their features, but it didn’t matter–I knew they were different from everyone else in the park.
Emma Cline does an excellent job of recreating the infamous cult family of the time, and allows the reader to take a closer look at The Girls: the disciples of a cult leader that told his followers to kill, and they obeyed.
Evie Boyd, a child of divorce, uncertain, lost and insecure is drawn to the girls because of their confidence, bluntness, and no need to apologize attitude. They are mysterious, pretty, and follow only the rules of their leader.
Evie is befriended by the girls, particularly, the dark haired, and complex, Suzanne. Evie hangs on Suzanne’s every word, wanting to please her and be a part of their seductive, frightening lives, romanticized by adolescence. Eventually Evie is introduced to the leader, Russell who is magnetic and impressive with his slick tongue and trippy drug induced philosophies.
Young Evie Boyd eagerly steps into their world, stumbling forward, head first, and blind down the path that leads to no where but darkness.