I don’t know if it is just me but I find that university completely kills my desire to read. I used to love reading- be that novels, non-fiction, biographies but when you have been in a library for ten hours, the last thing you want to do is pick up a book.
After not reading at all last year I made, what I thought would be a really easy resolution (as I am pretty anti-new year’s resolutions). I decided I wanted to read a bit more; maybe a book every one or two months. It is now July and I can finally say I finished a book, cover to cover, for the first time in a very long time.
The book in question was ‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline and oh my word! I cannot remember for the life of me where I first heard of Clines debut novel, whether it was recommended or I was just drawn in by the cover (I’m a sucker for a nice cover).
From start to finish ‘The Girls’ completely broke my heart. It captured my imagination and by the end, well and truly blew my mind. If I am half the writer that Cline is in my lifetime I will be more than overjoyed.
The book is set in two different time periods, following Evie Boyd in the present day and 1960’s California. Disenfranchised by day to day life and estranged from her parents, Evie is lured into a cult by a charismatic leader, Russel and mysteriously beautiful member, Susanne. Mirroring the Manson cult, there is inevitably a bloody conclusion.
The colour in Clines prose and the dreamlike way she describes the lost girls and the ranch they live on is sexy and intensely consuming. You won’t be able to put the book down. While Evie’s situation becomes very foreign to the majority of us, Cline describes the awkwardness of being 14, negotiating the adult world when you aren’t quite a child, so acutely it is like she is telling you exactly how you felt.
I have never come across a writer with such an amazing understanding of the human condition. If you haven’t read it, it is the perfect summer read!