ashley | I went form having read very little about cults to reading two books within a few weeks with similar details. Though Emma Cline’s The Girls focuses much more on the lure and charisma of a cult, based loosely on the Manson family. I’ve been weirdly drawn to the Manson family, as I’m sure many were, so this book was really interesting for me.
Cline writes with a very descriptive manner, there’s a lot of flowery descriptions about almost everything, which can sometimes be too much to read but it made the book seem kind of dream-like, a level past reality, which I tend to believe is the same feeling the whole Manson appeal made all these young naive girls feel at the time.
I enjoyed how things didn’t just jump right in. We meet Evie before she meets the cult, while she’s still a little naive and starry eyed. She idolizes Suzanne right from the very beginning. And we witness her being lured into the group, being pushed away from her family and ending up there.
I really enjoyed things for the first half of the book, but eventually it started to feel too drawn out. Towards the end I was anxious for the climax to come already. We all knew what was coming, just get there.
I did like how it was told between present and past, but the plot taking place in the present helped make things seem so drawn out, nothing really happened and it just seemed like it was dragging.
Overall I thought it was a decent read. I did feel very smitten for most of it, I think somewhere that allure just died off, much like the allure of the Ranch did for Evie. Suzanne was certainly a draw, she was probably the most interesting person in the whole book, even more so than the Manson-character Russell. I think she was what kept me hanging on through the whole story, Cline did a great job of making her evil but somehow still someone you wanted to be around.
june 14, 2016