The Girls

The Girls

3.53 (59,112 ratings on Goodreads)
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This book is the Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller. It is the New York Times Top Ten Bestseller. It is the UK's best selling hardback debut novel of 2016. It is also selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Evening Standard, Observer and The Times California. The summer of 1969. In the dying days of a floundering counter-culture a young girl is unwittingly caught up in unthinkable violence, and a decision made at this moment, on the cusp of adulthood, will shape her life..."This book will break your heart and blow your mind." (Lena Dunham). Evie Boyd is desperate to be noticed. In the summer of 1969, empty days stretch out under the California sun. The smell of honeysuckle thickens the air and the sidewalks radiate heat. Until she sees them. The snatch of cold laughter. Hair, long and uncombed. Dirty dresses skimming the tops of thighs. Cheap rings like a second set of knuckles. The girls. And at the centre, Russell. Russell and the ranch, down a long dirt track and deep in the hills. Incense and clumsily strummed chords. Rumours of sex, frenzied gatherings, teen runaways. Was there a warning, a sign of things to come? Or is Evie already too enthralled by the girls to see that her life is about to be changed forever?show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 33mm | 625g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1784740446
  • 9781784740443
  • 4,537

Review quote

"Emma Cline has an unparalleled eye for the intricacies of girlhood, turning the stuff of myth into something altogether more intimate. The Girls destroys our ability to consider violence a foreign territory, and reminds us that behind so many of our culture's fables exists a girl: unseen, unheard, angry. This book will break your heart and blow your mind." -- Lena Dunham "Cline's book is stunning, exceeding all expectations. It's a thrilling read, not because of the sensationalist content, but despite it. She writes like an old soul, noticing things that others miss, seeing deeply... The Girls is a spectacular achievement." -- Alex O'Connell The Times "What an exhilarating read. Dream-like and heady, nuanced and complicated, I especially loved the needle-sharp observations about how young women let themselves be used, ignored and manipulated. An enjoyable and an important book." -- Emma Healey "Your beachside reading sorted... The Girls is one of the best novels I've read about female adolescence... it follows on from Elena Ferrante's feted Neopolitan quartet in its exploration of female relationships...Cline tells an all-consuming tale where the women's stories are the stories that matter. And as with so many novels about cults, The Girls is set to inspire a cultish devotion all of its own." -- Johanna Thomas-Corr Evening Standard "The Girls is a brilliant and intensely consuming novel -- imposing not just for a writer so young, but for any writer, any time" Richard Ford "A perceptive writer with a fine pen, she understands the intimate coercions that go on within every relationship, and represents them with a Katherine Mansfield-like exactness... Taut, beautiful and savage, Cline's novel demands your attention." -- Sarah Ditum Guardian "I don't know which is more amazing, Emma Cline's understanding of human beings or her mastery of language." -- Mark Haddon "If the cult story and adolescent rite of passage are familiar tropes, what truly distinguishes this remarkable debut novel is its lush, beautifully calibrated prose, which captures the drug-fuelled squalor of the chaotic ranch and the uncertainties of youth... Brilliant." -- Simon Humphreys Mail on Sunday "Emma Cline's first novel positively hums with fresh, startling, luminous prose. THE GIRLS announces the arrival of a thrilling new voice in American fiction." -- Jennifer Egan "A joy to read... Cline is an exciting new voice in fiction... This is the perfect read for the young and complicated because, like them, it is intense, clever, beautiful." -- Lucy Atkins Sunday Times "Set to be the biggest literary debut of the summer, you'll soon be seeing its retro cover everywhere... Cline perfectly captures the spirit and nuances of female adolescence" Refinery29 "Heart-wrenchingly nostalgic... Brings the details of girlhood rushing back... new voice in American fiction" Stylist "An intensely atmospheric story that perfectly captures the aching loneliness and longing of a teenage girl." -- Sarra Manning Red "Precisely, gorgeously written... What sets the book apart is its exquisitely forensic portrait of what it is to be a young woman." -- Alice Jones Scotsman "The read of the summer" -- India Knight Sunday Times Magazine "With the maturity of a writer twice her age, Cline has written a wise novel that's never showy: a quiet, seething confession of yearning and terror... Debut novels like this are rare, indeed" Washington Post "'****... Luxuriant prose... Her storytelling ability began to weave its magic as the narrative builds to a dramatic and horrific climax." -- Vanessa Berridge Daily Express "One of my personal books of the year. Brilliantly evoking the period of the late sixties...her writing gets right into the mind of a teenage girl... I knew this was a writer I wanted to know more about." -- Alexandra Shulman Vogue "Cline's preoccupation is with how women are objectified and used by society... In these themes, and also in style and voice, there are strong similarities to Curtis Sittenfeld's bestseller, Prep... The Girls is a debut brimming with intelligence and ideas. It is a novel less about murder, more about a deadly desire to be accepted and admired. Buy it for the Manson-esque plot but savour it for its insights." -- Sarah Gilmartin Irish Times "She is exceptionally good at capturing the fearful, conflicted sensibility of a 14-year-old girl... The sheer poetic lyricism of her prose is remarkable." -- Claire Allfree Daily Mailshow more

About Emma Cline

Emma Cline is the author of The Girls, shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize and the John Leonard Award from the National Book Critics Circle. In 2014, she received the Plimpton Prize from The Paris Review. She is from Northern more

Review Text

"She is exceptionally good at capturing the fearful, conflicted sensibility of a 14-year-old girl… The sheer poetic lyricism of her prose is remarkable."show more
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