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The Girls

de Emma Cline

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

MembrosResenhasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
3,5072533,727 (3.54)90
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged -- a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.… (mais)
  1. 10
    Cruel Beautiful World de Caroline Leavitt (KatyBee)
  2. 00
    A Fatal Inversion de Barbara Vine (shaunie)
    shaunie: Similar doom-laden atmosphere with something horrible about to happen in the summer heat - but whilst Cline's book is this year's must-read Vine's book is far more tense and exciting.
  3. 00
    Machine de Susan Steinberg (susanbooks)
  4. 00
    Girls on Fire de Robin Wasserman (susanbooks)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 252 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
"We all want to be seen."

By now, many GR participants have likely seen at least a half a dozen reviews in their feed for 2016's "It" book of the summer -- [b:The Girls|26893819|The Girls|Emma Cline|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1464528839s/26893819.jpg|42856015] -- a fictionalized account of a cult based on the Manson Family.

You'll read reviews that say the author is an amazingly good writer (she is); that the book starts off very slowly, but that you should stick with it (you should); that it's very disturbing (yes); and lots and lots of opinions about whether Emma Cline should have based this on the Manson murders or chosen another plot line.

Since there are so many other reviews discussing the Manson plot line of this book, I'd like to focus my review on what seemed like the most obvious and pressing theme of the book for me -- how girls/women see themselves and each other, and the relationship between the sexes.

The book centers on Evie Boyd, a rootless 14-year old child of divorce in 1969. Her parents are too busy in their own new lives to pay much attention to her. We see her in the present day, and in flashbacks. As a teen she's unsure of herself and desperate for the attention of the boys in her circle of friends.

“That was part of being a girl--you were resigned to whatever feedback you'd get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn't react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they'd backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.”

Even as a middle-aged woman, Evie laments, "Poor girls. The world fattens them on the promise of love. How badly they need it and how little most of them will ever get. The treacle pop songs. The dresses described in catalogs with words like 'sunset' or 'Paris.' But the dreams are taken away with such violent force. The hand wrenching the button of the jeans. Nobody looking at the man shouting at his girlfriend on the bus."

Evie's low self-worth as a teen sends her running to cult, looking for acceptance and someone to "see" her. She's manipulated by the cult leader and other men there -- and by the women -- and knows she's being manipulated, yet still yearns to belong.

In the modern day setting we see Evie trying to help to another young woman who is being harassed by two men. It seems as though Emma Cline wants to show us that little has changed from 1969 to 2016.

This book is disturbing not just because of the gruesome descriptions of terrible crimes, but also by the aching descriptions of hurting hearts and casual disrespect of human dignity. My guess is that this is exactly the point Emma Cline is trying to make.

4 stars. I look forward to more from this talented author.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for a galley of this book. Although I was given a galley, I listened to the audiobook which was excellent.

( )
  jj24 | May 27, 2024 |
representation for girls who were weird and horny but didn't know what to make of it at 14!! ( )
  griller02 | Mar 18, 2024 |
Emma Cline's prose and imagery is absolutely wonderful here- she paints such tangible and unique expressions of feelings and people and moments. I think she gave a very strong voice to Evie, the young teenage protagonist. One of the things I enjoyed (and appreciated) most about "The Girls" was Cline's insight on girlhood. She's really captured something special in here, and, having been a hormonal, confused, and curious teenage girl myself, I truly loved reading about Evie. Despite the fact that I've been been in a cult or lived in the 70s, Evie felt remarkably relatable.

I've seen several people compare "The Girls" to Jeffery Eugenides "The Virgin Suicides", and I had the same thought while reading this. Both novels offer up a raw look at the life of girls, and neither shy away from the sexuality, the uncomfortable moments, the desires, or the social issues girls have or encounter. There is a quote near the beginning of the novel that really pulled me in:
“I waited to be told what was good about me. [...] All that time I had spent readying myself, the articles that taught me life was really just a waiting room until someone noticed you- the boys had spent that time becoming themselves.”
Cline mentions again and again, in different ways and without spelling it out, the fact that girls are expected to put on a show of sorts for boys, and are expected to primp themselves for the boys wants and needs. Girls behave and try to get a man, while the men do whatever the heck they feel like doing. And the plot of the novel very much backs this up, in a way that is both horrifying and effective.
Another quote:
“That was part of being a girl--you were resigned to whatever feedback you'd get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn't react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they'd backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.”

I think the only thing that felt a little imbalanced was the focus on the cult. The climax of the cult narrative feels a bit cut short, and I wanted to know more about AFTER that moment. The ending, while still good, just felt a bit incomplete. Another 100-150 pages would have been fantastic!

I would reread this. I WANT to reread this, and explore it again with a pen, marking bits and taking more from it. ( )
  deborahee | Feb 23, 2024 |
I try to not let reviews guide my reading but in this case I saw so many positive reviews from people I trust so I went against my instinct to read this book. It was a mistake.

I guess it speaks to the skill of the author that I was so repelled by the characters. I felt dirty by association just reading about them. I never understood why our main character became enthralled with the cult and I didn't really appreciate her as an adult either.

( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
Captivating ( )
  turtleburger | Jan 14, 2024 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 252 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
The Girls works a well-tapped vein in literary fiction: the queasy exploration of how young women with crippled egos can become accessories to their own degradation. Joyce Carol Oates and Mary Gaitskill are masters of this theme. Cline’s contribution is a heady evocation of the boredom and isolation of adolescence in pre-internet suburbia, in houses deserted by their restless, doubt-stricken adult proprietors where “the air was candied with silence.” The novel is heavy with figurative language; Cline has a telling fondness for the word “humid.” Not all of this comes off effectively (Evie’s mom makes Chinese ribs that “had a glandular sheen, like a lacquer”), but most of it does (Evie, dazzled by her father’s girlfriend, thinks she has a life “like a TV show about summer.”)
adicionado por Nickelini | editarSlate, Laura Miller (Jun 7, 2016)
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Emma Clineautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Cosgrove, LizDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
McClain, CadyNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Mendelsund, PeterArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged -- a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.

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