Dear Great Book Guru, I am going to the Sea Cliff Civic Association’s Newcomers Party next Sunday and I am very excited, but concerned that I might not have much to say to my fellow newcomers. If you could recommend a controversial book that might stimulate conversation, I would be eternally grateful. A Somewhat Nervous Newcomer
Dear Somewhat Nervous Newcomer, I think I have a good book for you, but first I must assure you that the Newcomers Party is great fun and nothing to be nervous about. The book I am suggesting is THE GIRLS by Emma Cline. The narrator is Evie Lloyd, a fourteen year old living in California in the 1960’s. Her grandmother (think possibly Lucille Ball) was a famous actress who has left an estate that afforded Evie and her mother an affluent life style. Despite this, Evie is very unhappy and finds herself attracted to a strange, charismatic teenage girl( think Squeaky Fromme) who is part of a group of young girls who follow Russell (think Charles Manson), an elusive, disheveled, abusive forty year old. When Russell forces the girls to violently attack various Hollywood luminaries (think Roman Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate), the story takes a truly dark turn. Their lives are forever changed and Evie, forty –five years later, wonders what is was that that drew them all into this horrendous vortex. Recommended!