California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counterculture, a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life....
Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air, and the sidewalks radiate heat.
Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways.
Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?
"The Girls is a brilliant and intensely consuming novel - imposing not just for a writer so young, but for any writer, any time." (Richard Ford)
"I don't know which is more amazing, Emma Cline's understanding of human beings or her mastery of language." (Mark Haddon)
"Emma Cline's first novel positively hums with fresh, startling, luminous prose. The Girls announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American fiction." (Jennifer Egan)
"Emma Cline has an unparalleled eye for the intricacies of girlhood, turning the stuff of myth into something altogether more intimate. The Girls destroys our ability to consider violence a foreign territory, and reminds us that behind so many of our culture's fables exists a girl: unseen, unheard, angry. This book will break your heart and blow your mind." (Lena Dunham)
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The human side...
Uncomfortable and compelling
- helen claire smith