|Published June 2016|
The Girls is a riveting and alluring debut novel. Loosely based on the Manson murders, Cline explores the vulnerability and angst of 14-year-old Evie Boyd (via the narration of her now middle-aged self). The predominant story is about young Evie and her entanglement with a murderous clan of outliers during the late 1960s. That part of the novel is heartbreaking because many of us will recognize the teenage naiveté and desperate longing to belong. The other part of the novel is about middle-aged Evie. She is still drifting, but with a greater sense of responsibility and foresight. The older Evie is lonely and quietly haunted by her past. However, this novel is not about older Evie, it is about her youth. Then again, isn't it always about youth and how we survive (or don't survive) it?