The Girls by Emma Cline

The Girls

Being the nosy parker I am, and having the fascination I do for delving in to other people’s lives – just ask any person who’s ever served me at a supermarket – I sometimes wonder if I am at a ridiculously high risk of being lured into a cult. I’ll gladly swan about in floaty frocks tending to a veggie garden while singing about peace if there’s a vacancy for it.

But then I read Emma Cline’s The Girls, and the idea of dumpster diving for food in a The Bachelor-style set-up, with a seemingly unhinged shirtless dude as a leader, kind of put me off the whole thing.

Told from the perspective of Evie, a middle-aged woman reflecting on the misadventures of her youth, The Girls paints a swirly mural of 1960s California. Enchanted by a crowd of teen-aged misfits, Evie soon learns this troupe is willing to go far further to please its leader than she first expected. On that note, maybe I’d be more suited to the role of cult leader.

[Penguin Random House, 2016]

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