The Girls by Emma Cline is a novel loosely based on the events leading up to the Manson Family murders in the summer of 1969. Lured by sexual desire and the prospect of female friendship, Evie Boyd, an unhappy 14-year-old, spends a large chunk of her summer colluding with a cult. Some 40 years in the future, an unexpected encounter causes Evie to reflect on that experience at length.
As the story begins, middle-aged Evie is between jobs and temporarily living at a friend's beach house. One night, in bed, she hears voices and understands there's been a break-in. She's convinced she's about to be murdered. When death doesn't come, she works up her nerve and gets out of bed to investigate. The "intruders" are just her friend's college-age son Julian and his girlfriend Sasha, who's younger, maybe 16 years old. They're stopping through on their way to another town.
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