This Buzzed-About Novel Is Your Summer Must-Read

You know this girl. Perhaps you were even once like her. What would it take to fall in with a dangerous group of people? At what cost would you leave behind the boredom and loneliness for thrill of strangers and a sense of belonging?

Emma Cline’s debut novel, The Girls, is the story of Evie, a woman haunted by the summer of 1969. As a lonely 14-year-old growing up in Northern California, Evie is mesmerized by a group of otherworldly “long-haired girls” she sees at the park, Suzanne in particular. She’s quickly drawn into their soon-to-be infamous cult and meets the charismatic man they call leader.

As her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie fails to realize she’s coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence – to that pivotal moment when everything can go horribly wrong.

Read on for an excerpt from The Girls, which hit shelves via Random House on June 14th.

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

I noticed their hair first, long and uncombed. Then their jewelry catching the sun. The three of them were far enough away that I saw only the periphery of their features, but it didn't matter—I knew they were different from everyone else in the park. Families milling in a vague line, waiting for sausages and burgers from the open grill. Women in checked blouses scooting into their boyfriends' sides, kids tossing eucalyptus buttons at the feral-looking chickens that overran the strip. These long-haired girls seemed to glide above all that was happening around them, tragic and separate. Like royalty in exile.

I studied the girls with a shameless, blatant gape: it didn't seem possible that they might look over and notice me. My hamburger was forgotten in my lap, the breeze blowing in minnow stink from the river. It was an age when I'd immediately scan and rank other girls, keeping up a constant tally of how I fell short, and I saw right away that the black-haired one was the prettiest. I had expected this,


Adapted from THE GIRLS: A NOVEL by Emma Cline. Copyright © 2016 by Emma Cline. Reprinted by arrangement with Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved.

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