The Girls by Emma Cline

My first inclination is to say this book was waaaayyyy overhyped. It is a very interesting read but I was expecting for some brain melting awesomeness, and it fell a little of flat of that. That being said, it is a first good novel for Cline.

The story flashes back and forth between the present and the childhood of a woman who got caught up in a Manson style cult. I thought there were many moments of the text that I found really intriguing but Cline didn’t dig into them or flesh them out enough. This book felt too short for me. I think ti was around 300 pages but I honestly would have read a longer book if she had dug more into moments with the cult and the devolution of the family. I don’t know if this is a SPOILER or not but I will give you the chance to skip to the next paragraph here. I really wished that the main character had had to kill Connie.

One thing that really stressed me out about this story what the parental negligence. The way that the main character’s mother treated her made me really physically angry. I think thought that is one of the strengths of the novel too. Parents are people as well, and often far from perfect. They are planets whose children are sucked into their atmosphere and have to deal with the ups and downs, and way downs the parents have as well.

Suggest for people who like:

-Cults

-Macabre stories

-The 1970s

-Coming of age stories

 

Level of difficulty: Read on your commute

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