Social icons

Book Review: The Girls, Emma Cline

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Some true stories, how horrible they may be, will stay forever engraved in the collective memory, remembered almost as historical facts. And all of those stories will work on people's imaginations, be at the origin of books, comics, tv shows, movies, will become even more famous. That is definitely the case with the Charles Manson's affair. The cult that he built, gathering lost girls from all over California, some young, some older, some being mothers, some being daughters still, keeping them around with his ideals of love and purity, keeping them around with drugs and sex. This story fascinated the world when it happened in the 70s, and it actually still does. Emma Cline wrote about it in her fabulous novel, "The Girls". It is all inspired by this story, the same plot, the same ideals, the same man, the same lost girls, plus one, Evie, the character through whom we see the story happening. 

It is not a historical book, it does not intend to retrace the real facts. Actually, it is way deeper than that. It is about the girls. About why they went with this guy (named Russell in the book), why they followed, why they accepted everything he did, everything he wanted them to do. Evie is 14 years old. Her dad left, her mother fell in love with a man she hated, her best friend abandoned her. She is alone, it is Summer, she falls in love with a group of girls, pretty, mysterious. It is the start of the end for her, and she knows. Emma Cline had the cleverness to write Evie's mind when she is 40, still marked by the events of her young years. We see how a cult can change people's life forever, can destroy them. The subject of the famous murder is also evoked, but through Evie's mouth, everything look so innocent that we can only have pity for the real girls, just so lost that they followed the rules he gave, without even asking, so sure of him. This book is definitely an eye opener. While reading it I found myself interested in the case, in the universe of cults, and the more I was reading, the more shocked I got. This book is not easy to read, it is heart-wrenching, after all, a 14 years old girl is in the middle of it. I am sure this book will forever stay engraved in me. The author understands people's feelings so well that you cannot get out of this read unharmed. This novel gets through you, and I don't even know how to explain it. Just read it. 



Post a Comment