OMBT: The Girls

Reading for PURE PLEASURE, post-novel! I’m feasting on my TBR pile with reckless abandon.

On My Bedside Table: THIS.

The Girls by Emma Cline.

“We all want to be seen.”

Blurb: Evie Boyd is fourteen and desperate to be noticed. It’s the summer of 1969 and restless, empty days stretch ahead of her. Until she sees them. The girls. Hair long and uncombed, jewellery catching the sun. And at their centre, Suzanne, black-haired and beautiful.

If not for Suzanne, she might not have gone. But, intoxicated by her and the life she promises, Evie follows the girls back to the decaying ranch where they live.

Was there a warning? A sign of what was coming? Or did Evie know already that there was no way back?

First line: I looked up because of the laughter, and kept looking because of the girls.

Stand out line: (Seriously impossible to choose but this one slapped me in the face and continued to sting.)

“I wanted to be told what was good about me. I wondered later if this was why there were so many more women than men at the ranch. 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.”

An extraordinary novel, not least for it’s stunning turn of phrase, or it’s disturbing portrayal of the lured and abused, but also for it’s dismantling of human nature, and what it means to be a girl. The volatility of being unseen, but also how destructive and dangerous it is when we finally are, picked out by predatory eyes.

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