The Girls by Emma Cline

This is a daring attempt to tell a fictionalized account of a famous true crime.  The girls in the title are all members of a cult during the late 1960s with a charismatic leader named Russell.  (Am I the only one thinking of Charles Manson?)  By the time too many chapters go by this group has committed a horrible crime and the 60’s have a permanent stain.

The story centers on Evie, a 14-year-old, whose world is falling apart.  Like most teens she is searching for love and acceptance and she thinks she has found it with Russell’s “family.”  To outsiders the ranch where the group lives looks run down and creepy, but to Evie it is magical…a place where there’s freedom and abandon.

The night of the crime, Evie is with them until one of the girls gets annoyed with her and tosses her out of the car before they reach their destination.  Now Evie wonders if she would have joined them in their killing spree.  Is she really just like the other girls?

~ Leslie W.