Emma Cline “The Girls” (Random House, 2016)
This is one, if not the, hot books of the summer. It’s lurid and yet well crafted – not a combination that you see every day.
Basically this is the story of a woman thinking back to when she was a young teenage girl who got involved with a Manson Family avatar. And that’s a topic that is sure to get people’s attention, even now decades after the murders.
Cline manages to do something that is rare. She tells the story in a way that we are sympathetic to her protagonist. That even though she’s showing us a time and place that is dirty and stinky and hungry and just weird, we can see why she is attracted to the Family.
This is a powerful book, and a disturbing one. It’s not that I always enjoyed it, but rather that it was a strong story well told.