Recommended by Jacqueline Sheehan
Five writers gathered at my house to welcome a writing buddy who now lives in Asheville. We see her once a year to share writing news and stay in touch. The question always comes up: What are you reading these days? Someone said, The Girls by Emma Cline. She looked right at me and said, “You would really like this book.” And she was right. I loved this book so much that I’m going to read it again.
This is Cline’s debut novel which makes it even more amazing. She writes with intense psychological insight into the vulnerability of teenage girls. Remember Charles Manson, the mastermind of grisly murders in California? Everyone remembers Charles Manson and his tribe of shockingly young people who inexplicably carry out murders. Cline takes this iconic event and molds it into a novel that focuses on two girls who fall under the seductive charisma of the leader. This book could be the ultimate text for how cult dynamics work, but in Cline’s adept hands, we are also given a novel that shimmers with beauty.
This is a gripping novel about the dark truths, the subtle and not so subtle savageries under the surface of girlhood.
Jacqueline Sheehan is a New York Times Bestselling author. She is also a psychologist. A New Englander through and through, she spent twenty years living in Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, photography, freelance journalism, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers.