Wednesday, October 5, 2016

"The Girls" a novel by Emma Cline



So, originally my plans for Summer reading included a couple more books than just the one. But The Girls ended up taking me the whole Summer and then some to finish....hellooo Fall! That was fast.

Normally, when a book is too good to put down, I'll plow through it in a few days; staying up late to get to the next chapter. Wide awake because the plot is thickening...

The Girls was a good read but not great in my humble opinion. I kept waiting for things to pick up and move along but the story was slow which made the chapters seem long. The author puts a significant amount of effort into analogies and her descriptions. Cline is very descriptive. Her adjectives consuming the story, slowing it down...which made it difficult for me to get through. However, some passages were so poignant they could easily zap you into that very moment or memory...

"I worked the words around with unspecific effort, like the idle rattle of a lemon drop against the teeth." p.128

"As if the bright flash of your efforts could distract death from coming for you, keeping the bull snorting harmlessly after the scarlet flag." p.133

"I was already starting to understand that other people's admiration asked something of you. That you had to shape yourself around it." p.170

"Men did it so easily, that immediate parceling of value. And how they seemed to want you to collude on your own judgement." p.198

It sounds like I'm complaining but for the most part I enjoyed the vivid descriptions. The Girls was salacious. Provocative. Mystifying. And even though it is fiction, you feel otherwise. You get an autobiographical sense which is the idea. Was this really what it might have been like to have been one of the infamous "Manson girls"? Cline wants you to think so.

For me, I felt the book pick up pace around the last 100 pages. The plot unraveled fast then and it made me wonder why this hadn't happened sooner in the story...a story that dragged on in deep contemplation as the main character went between the then and the now.

And then the story ends rather abruptly. Almost as if everything had just been merely a dream. Even though I was ready for the book to end, I was left wanting more. More of what, I'm not sure. 

This was a popular book this Summer. I saw it pop up on numerous instagram posts so I'm wondering...what did you think about the book? Anyone else feel like me? I liked it! But I didn't love it. 

Now...what I really want to read next? The Girl On the Train.

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