Emma Cline’s The Girls is a fascinating coming of age story set in Los Angeles of the late 1960’s. It details the almost-obsessional relationship between a young girl, Evie, and a group of girls whose paths cross one fateful day.
It’s not a spoiler to say that this novel is a fictitious account surrounding a very real and infamous event – the Charles Manson killings.
Cline’s description of the ranch is artfully done, and Evie’s spiral of descent into darkness is heartbreaking and believable. You can almost feel the LA sun on your face as you read it.
I’ve long-been fascinated by this true crime case – mainly by the overpowering influence that Manson managed to exert upon his followers – so for me the novel worked on both a fictional sense as well as an example of social reportage. Recommended.